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The IRA and the Troubles in Northern Ireland


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The IRA and the Troubles in Northern Ireland

  1. 1. Sinn Fein and the IRA • Leaving Cert History • Northern Ireland 1949-1973
  2. 2. Origins of Sinn Fein • Established in 1905 by Arthur Griffith • By 1921 was the dominant party of Irish Nationalism
  3. 3. Origins of IRA • Emerged from the Irish Volunteers and Irish Republican Brotherhood • Split during Civil War 1922-1923
  4. 4. Origins of IRA • IRA went through a series of splits up to 1969 • 1969 – IRA (and Sinn Fein) split into – Provisional IRA and Provisional Sinn Fein – Official IRA and Official Sinn Fein
  5. 5. British Withdrawal in 5 years • IRA leadership wanted to inflict as many casualties on British that public opinion would force withdrawal • Commence bombing campaign of ‘soft targets’ – strategy to disrupt the economy. • NI Govt. introduce interments - more IRA recruits • Events like Bloody Sunday led to more volunteers joining • Strategy proved a failure • 1975 IRA call a ceasefire – lasts nearly a year
  6. 6. The Long War • New strategy • A 20 year war of attrition • Attacks on military and economy targets – including in the UK • Led to consistent security repression in Catholic areas
  7. 7. IRA prisoners • Initially granted special category status • British government withdraw special category status in 1976 • IRA prisoners go ‘on the blanket’ • 1978 – protest escalated to the ‘dirty protest’ • 1980 7 IRA prisoners go on hunger strike • Ends after 53 days following promises from British Government
  8. 8. 1981 Hunger Strike • Bobby Sands elected to Parliament while on hunger strike • 10 prisoners die before hunger strike called off • Election of Sands leads Sinn Fein and IRA to look at more political activity as well as the military campaign
  9. 9. The Armalite and the Ballot Box • “Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in this hand and an Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland” – Danny Morisson Sinn Fein Ard Fheis 1981 • Sinn Fein won around 11% of the vote in elections
  10. 10. Decommissioning • Sinn Fein won around 11% of the vote in elections • After ceasefire Sinn Fein vote increased • IRA decommissioned weapons • Sinn Fein now the largest Nationalist party in Northern Ireland • 28 July 2005, the IRA Army Council announced an end to its armed campaign, stating that it would work to achieve its aims using "purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means"
  11. 11. IRA deaths • About 1800 died as a result of IRA actions • 1100 members of the security forces • 640 civilians • 275-300 IRA volunteers killed • Over 10,000 people imprisoned over the Troubles for IRA involvement or support
  12. 12. • Presentation prepared by: • Dominic Haugh • St. Particks Comprehensive School • Shannon • Co. Clare • Presentation can be used for educational purposes only – all rights remain with author