Discursive Essay: The Irish Republican Army (IRA)

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Nicolas Botha Discursive essay The Irish Republican Army (IRA) are considered by many to be a terrorist organisation however many people believe that they are freedom fighters and that they fought for the people in order to free Ireland from British rule. The Northern Ireland began in 1920 when the British government divided Ireland into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. Northern Ireland was largely opposed to this as one-third disagreed with the partition. This lead to the formation of the IRA in 1969 as the armed wing of the political movement Sinn Fein. The IRA where devote to removing British forces and they were thus seen as terrorists, especially by the British, because of the tactics they used against the British. The IRA…show more content…
However the military activities used by the IRA have led to a large belief that they are a terrorist organisation. This however cannot truly be determined due to the loosely based definition of terrorism and the fact that one person’s belief is that they are terrorists and another person’s belief is that they are freedom fighters. The IRA used military style tactics and conducted and executed included bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, punishment beatings, extortion, smuggling, and robberies. Used military tactics against Britain such as bombings and thus some may believe that they are terrorists. These attacks began in 1939 but only in 30 years when a new campaign begin. This campaign began after a British Parachute Regiment opened fire and killed 13 nationalist protesters in Londonderry. The IRA retaliated to this with a bombing which killed seven people, a gardener, the regiment's Roman Catholic padre and five women working in the kitchens. Another operation involved the planting of car bombs in London during 1973. Two of the bombs were diffused however the other two went off resulting in a death and 180 injured people. In 1974 the IRA carried out their worst bombing yet. They bombed a pub in Birmingham which resulted in 21 deaths. These bombings were used in an effort to free Ireland from Britain and also as an act of revenge for what British soldiers and police had…show more content…
On the 19th of July 1997 the IRA declared a cease fire. This allowed the sectary of the state of Northern Ireland to grant Sinn Fein (political wing of the IRA) entry into negotiations on Northern Ireland's political future. This then led to the opening of inclusive political talks in September. This means that the activities used has led to Sinn Fein being included in political talks due to the IRA protection and means that there are future possibilities of the dream of the IRA to have a unified Ireland under Irish, rather than British rule. However it can be argued that if the IRA had ceased fire earlier they would have had political power sooner. However these activities had shown Britain and political opponents that they wanted to be heard and strongly believed in what they were fighting for. Other achievements also include the convincing of former Northern Irelands secretary Peter Mandelson that the IRA is in fact freedom fighters. Mandelson believes that due to the IRA having political goals and being willing to cease fire they in fact are not terrorists. This however could be argued that it caused much debate as many people found his comment as "revolting", "utterly irresponsible", and "frightening". The IRA have made progress politically and thus can be seen as freedom fighters as they are willing to resolve matters with peace and democracy through slowing Sinn Fein

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