Irish Republican Army

Flying Column No. 2 of the 3rd Tipperary Brigade of the Old IRA, photographed during the early 1920s. All organisations calling themselves "Irish Republic Army" claim legitimate descent (sometimes compared to apostolic succession) from this IRA of 1919–22.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a name used by various paramilitary organisations in Ireland throughout the 20th and the 21st century. The political movement is dedicated to Irish republicanism, the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic free from British rule.[1] The original Irish Republican Army formed in 1917 from those Irish Volunteers who did not enlist in the British Army during World War I, members of the Irish Citizen Army and others.[citation needed] Irishmen formerly in the British Army returned to Ireland and fought in the Irish War of Independence. During the Irish War of Independence it was the army of the Irish Republic, declared by Dáil Éireann in 1919. Some Irish people dispute the claims of more recently created organisations that insist that they are the only legitimate descendants of the original IRA, often referred to as the "Old IRA" (in contrast to the Provisional IRA).

The playwright and former IRA member Brendan Behan once said that the first issue on any Irish organisation's agenda was "the split".[2] For the IRA, that has often been the case. The first split came after the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, with supporters of the Treaty forming the nucleus of the National Army of the newly created Irish Free State, while the anti-treaty forces continued to use the name Irish Republican Army. After the end of the Irish Civil War (1922–23), the IRA was around in one form or another for forty years, when it split into the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA in 1969. The latter then had its own breakaways, namely the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, each claiming to be the true successor of the Army of the Irish Republic.

Genealogy of the IRA and its splits[]

Here in more detail is a representation[1] of a genealogical tree of Irish nationalist movements derived from the original IRA:

A chronology of IRA

See also[]

Notes[]

^ For a diagrammatic version of this, see Genealogy of the Irish Republican Army.

References[]

  1. ^ "Origins of the IRA name". An Sionnach Fionn Blog. 27 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Primates' creative ambiguity averts schism". The Irish Times. 2 February 2005.
  3. ^ Suzanne Breen (22 April 2011). "Former Provos claim Kerr murder and vow more attacks". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Irish Republican Army (IRA) | Irish military organization". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 September 2017.

Bibliography[]