The IRA and the Struggle for Irish Independence

In 1998, the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement was reached between the multiple parties representing factions in Northern Ireland and the Irish and British governments. It granted the principle of self-determination to the residents, recognition of both national identities, and power sharing arrangements between the British and Irish governments. Since the agreement, the so called “Troubles” of low level guerrilla war between IRA and the British military ended, bringing to a close a conflict that had started in 1966.

Today Nick Mason and Hank Oslo give an overview of the IRA’s long standing campaign against the Ulster Loyalist forces, with support from Hans Lander, Alex Nicholson, and Adam Smith.

— Timeline —

-1530s- Tudor conquest of Ireland
-1845-1852- Irish Potato famine
-1912- the British government struck a deal with the Irish Party in the British Parliament, allowing for Home Rule
-1916- Easter Rising- the British had granted limited Irish autonomy due to WWI, so the IRA launched an invasion, capturing Dublin and proclaiming Ireland independent
-1936- On the 18th of June, the IRA was declared illegal in the Irish Free State.
-1939- The IRA initiated a bombing campaign in Britain. An explosion in Coventry killed five people.
-1943- Sir Basil Brooke became PM of Northern Ireland. He would remain in that position for twenty years.
-1945- WWII ends, Winston Churchill criticized Ireland for its neutrality
-1969- Battle of Bogside
-1970s- British jailing, interment of over 10,000 insurgents
-1972- about 100 killed, mostly by sniper attacks, 500 wounded, 1300 bombings in Northern Ireland against British security forces
-1981- Libyan dictator Muammar Qadaffi begins active assistance of the IRA
-1981- Bobby Sands starves himself to death after hunger strike
-1984- Brighton Hotel bombing, narrowly failing to murder British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
-1984- Whitey Bulger caught gun smuggling from the United States to Northern Ireland
-1991- Downing street mortar attack
-1993- IRA commits Bishopsgate bombing in the City of London, causing estimated damage of 1 billion pound sterling
-1998- Good Friday / Belfast Agreement reached

— References —

– The IRA: A History, Coogan (1994)
– Tom Collins, Jordan (1996)
– Bloody Sunday, Greengrass (2002)
– Hunger, McQueen (2008)
– The Green Book

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