Military Wiki
Provisional Irish Republican Army
(Óglaigh na hÉireann)
Participant in the Troubles
Mortar and RPG displayed by IRA members (1992)
Active 1969–2005
Ideology Irish republicanism
Democratic socialism
Leaders IRA Army Council
Strength ~10,000 over 30 years[1]
Originated as Irish Republican Army
Opponents British Army, RUC[2][3][4]

The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) (Irish language: Óglaigh na hÉireann ) was an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion.[5] It emerged out of the December 1969 split of the Irish Republican Army over differences of ideology and planned response to violence against the nationalist community. This violence had followed the community's demands for civil rights in 1968 and 1969, which met with resistance from some of the unionist community and from the authorities, and culminated in the 1969 Northern Ireland riots.[6]

The Provisional Irish Republican Army was also referred to as PIRA, the Provos, or by its supporters as the Army or the 'RA;[7] its constitution established it as Óglaigh na hÉireann ("Irish Volunteers") in the Irish language[8] and usually referred to its members as volunteers. The IRA is a proscribed organisation in the UK under the Terrorism Act 2000 and an unlawful organisation in the Republic of Ireland.[9][10] The United States includes them in the category of "other selected terrorist groups also deemed of relevance in the global war on terrorism".[11]

Overview of strategies

The IRA's initial strategy was to use force to cause the collapse of the Northern Ireland administration and to inflict enough casualties on the British forces that the British government would be forced by public opinion to withdraw from the region.[12] This policy involved recruitment of volunteers, increasing after the 1972 Bloody Sunday incident, in which the British military fired on protesters, and launching attacks against British military and economic targets.[13][14] The campaign was supported by arms and funding from Libya[15] and from some groups in the United States.[16][17]

The IRA agreed to a ceasefire in February 1975, which lasted nearly a year[18] before the IRA concluded that the British were drawing them into politics without offering any guarantees in relation to the IRA's goals, and hopes of a quick victory receded.[19] As a result, the IRA launched a new strategy known as "the Long War". This saw them conduct a war of attrition against the British and increase emphasis on political activity, via the political party Sinn Féin.[20] The process which the IRA went through to determine an offender's "guilt" or "innocence" was never open to debate or scrutiny. The IRA also engaged in attacks that broke the bones of alleged offenders, or involved shooting through the hands, or knees for persistent offenders of activities such as joyriding or drug dealing. In certain cases, for persistent offenders the IRA would serve a notice for the individual to leave the country, this was known as being "put out" of the community/country, and the clear message given to individuals served with these notices was that if they returned to the community/country they would be killed. This practice was frequently criticised by all sections of the political establishment in Northern Ireland as "summary justice".


In an effort to stamp out what the IRA termed "collaboration with British forces" and "informing", they killed a number of Catholic civilians, such as Joseph Fenton. Purges against these individuals, whom the IRA considered traitors to their own community and to the cause of nationalism, were most prevalent when the IRA found itself persistently vulnerable to infiltration. Investigations into informers and infiltration are suspected to have been dealt with by an IRA unit called the Internal Security Unit (ISU), known colloquially as the "Nutting Squad". This unit is said to be directly attached to IRA GHQ. Where a confession was solicited, the victim was often exiled or executed with a bullet in the back of the head. The body was either buried or, later in the IRA campaign, left in a public place, often in South Armagh.

One particular example of the killing of a person deemed by the IRA to have been an informer that is the source of continuing controversy is that of Jean McConville from Belfast, who was killed by the IRA. Ed Moloney and IRA sources continue to claim she was an informer despite the Police Ombudsman recently stating that this was not the case. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) have described the killing as a "war crime". Her family contend that she was killed as a punishment for aiding a dying British soldier in West Belfast, however this claim has been rejected in an official investigation,[21] while neither the Sutton Index or Lost Lives record the death of any British soldier near her home prior to her killing.[22]

In March 2007, Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan announced that there would be an inquiry into claims of collusion between IRA members and the British security forces.[23]

Attacks on other republican paramilitary groups

The IRA has also feuded with other republican paramilitary groups such as the Official IRA in the 1970s and the Irish People's Liberation Organisation in the 1990s.

Leading Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) member Joseph O'Connor was shot dead in Ballymurphy, west Belfast on 11 October 2000. Claims have been made by O'Connor's family and people associated with the RIRA that he was killed by the IRA as the result of a feud between the organisations.[24] but Sinn Féin denied the claims.[25] No-one has been charged with his killing.


This is a summary. For a detailed breakdown of casualties caused by and inflicted on the IRA see Provisional IRA campaign 1969-1997#Casualties


An IRA signpost with the word "Provoland" underneath in Omagh, County Tyrone.

The IRA was responsible for more deaths than any other group during the Troubles.[26] Two very detailed studies of deaths in the Troubles, the CAIN project at the University of Ulster, and Lost Lives,[27] differ slightly on the numbers killed by the IRA, but a rough synthesis gives a figure of 1,800 deaths. Of these, roughly 1,100 were members of the security forces: British Army, Royal Ulster Constabulary and Ulster Defence Regiment; an estimated 510 were civilians according to Sutton,[28] while the civilian toll reaches 640 per McKittrick.[29] The remainder were either loyalist or republican paramilitaries (including over 100 IRA members accidentally killed by their own bombs or shot after being exposed as security force agents).

The IRA lost a little under 300 members killed in the Troubles.[30] In addition, roughly 50–60 members of Sinn Féin were killed.[31] However there were far more IRA volunteers imprisoned as opposed to killed. Journalists Eamonn Mallie and Patrick Bishop estimate in their book The Provisional IRA that roughly 8,000 people passed through the ranks of the IRA in the first 20 years of its existence, many of them leaving after arrest (senior officers are required to surrender their post after being arrested), retiring from the armed campaign or "disillusionment". They give 10,000 as the total number of past and present IRA members at that time.[32]


The IRA is a proscribed organisation in the United Kingdom under the Terrorism Act 2000[9] and an unlawful organisation in the Republic of Ireland under the Offences Against the State Acts.[33] Members of IRA are tried in the Republic of Ireland in the Special Criminal Court. In Northern Ireland, the IRA are referred to as terrorists by the Ulster Unionist Party, the Democratic Unionist Party, the Progressive Unionist Party, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland,[34] and the Social Democratic and Labour Party.[35] On the island of Ireland, the largest political party to state that the IRA is not a terrorist organisation is Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin is widely regarded as the political wing of the IRA, but the party insists that the two organisations are separate.

Peter Mandelson, a former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, contrasted the post-1997 activities of the IRA with those of Al-Qaeda, describing the latter as "terrorists" and the former as "freedom fighters" (though Mandelson subsequently denied this sentiment).[36] The IRA prefer the terms freedom fighter, soldier, or volunteer.[37][38][39] The US Department of State falls short of listing the IRA as a 'Foreign Terrorist Organization', but includes them in the category 'other selected terrorist groups also deemed of relevance in the global war on terrorism.'[11] The organisation has also been described as a "private army" by a number of commentators and politicians.[40][41][42]

The IRA described its actions throughout "The Troubles" as a military campaign waged against the British Army, the RUC, other security forces, judiciary, loyalist politicians and loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, England and Europe. The IRA considers these groups to be all part of the same apparatus.[43] As noted above, the IRA seeks to draw a direct descendancy from the original IRA and those who engaged in the Irish War of Independence. The IRA sees the previous conflict as a guerrilla war which accomplished some of its aims, with some remaining "unfinished business".[44]

A process called "Criminalisation" was begun in the mid-1970s as part of a British strategy of "Criminalisation, Ulsterisation, and Normalisation". The policy was outlined in a 1975 British strategy paper titled "The Way Ahead", which was not published but was referred to by Labour's first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Merlyn Rees, and came to be the dominant British political theme in the conflict as it raged into the 1980s.[citation needed]

Another categorisation avoids the terms "guerrilla" or "terrorist" but does view the conflict in military terms. The phrase originated with the British military strategist Frank Kitson who was active in Northern Ireland during the early 1970s. In Kitson's view, the violence of the IRA represented an "insurrection" situation, with the enveloping atmosphere of belligerence representing a "low intensity conflict" – a conflict where the forces involved in fighting operate at a greatly reduced tempo, with fewer combatants, at a reduced range of tactical equipment and limited scope to operate in a military manner.[citation needed]

Membership of the IRA remains illegal in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland, but IRA prisoners convicted of offences committed before 1998 have been granted conditional early release as part of the Good Friday Agreement.[45] In the United Kingdom a person convicted of membership of a "proscribed organisation", such as the IRA, still nominally faces imprisonment for up to 10 years.[46]

Strength and support

Numerical strength

In the early to mid-1970s, the numbers recruited by the IRA may have reached several thousand, but these were reduced when the IRA re-organised its structures from 1977 onwards. An RUC report of 1986 estimated that the IRA had 300 or so members in Active Service Units and up to 750 active members in total in Northern Ireland.[47] This does not take into consideration the IRA units in the Republic of Ireland or those in Britain, continental Europe, and throughout the world. In 2005, the then Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell told the Dáil that the organisation had "between 1,000 and 1,500" active members.[48]

According to the book The Provisional IRA (by Eamon Mallie and Patrick Bishop), roughly 8,000 people passed through the ranks of the IRA in the first 20 years of its existence, many of them leaving after arrest, "retirement" or disillusionment.[32] In later years, the IRA's strength has been somewhat weakened by members leaving the organisation to join hardline splinter groups such as the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA. According to former Irish Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, these organisations have little more than 150 members each.[48]

Electoral and popular support

The popular support for the IRA's campaign in the Troubles is hard to gauge, given that Sinn Féin, the IRA's political wing, did not stand in elections until the early 1980s. Most nationalists in Northern Ireland voted for the moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) until 2001. After the 1981 hunger strike, Sinn Féin mobilised large electoral support and won 105,000 votes, or 43% of the nationalist vote in Northern Ireland, in the United Kingdom general election, 1983, only 34,000 votes behind the SDLP.[49] However, by the 1992 UK General Election, the SDLP won 184,445 votes and four seats to Sinn Féin's 78,291 votes and no seats.[50] In the 1993 Local District Council Elections in Northern Ireland, the SDLP won 136,760 votes to Sinn Féin's 77,600 votes.[51]

Few Protestant voters voted for Sinn Féin. In 1992, many of them voted for SDLP West Belfast candidate Joe Hendron rather than a unionist candidate in order to make sure Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin lost his seat in the constituency.[52]

An IRA wall mural in Coalisland, County Tyrone

The IRA enjoyed some popular support in the Republic of Ireland in the early 70s. However, the movement's appeal was hurt badly by bombings such as the killing of civilians attending a Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph in Enniskillen in 1987 (Remembrance Day bombing), and the death of two children when a bomb exploded in Warrington, which led to tens of thousands of people demonstrating on O'Connell Street in Dublin to call for an end to the IRA's campaign. In the 1987 Irish General Election, they won only 1.7% of the votes cast.[53] They did not make significant electoral gains in the Republic until after the IRA ceasefires and the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. By the 2011 Irish general election Sinn Féin's proportion of the popular vote had reached 9.9 percent.

Sinn Féin now has 27 members of the Northern Ireland Assembly (out of 108), five Westminster MPs (out of 18 from Northern Ireland) and 14 Republic of Ireland TDs (out of 166).

Support from other countries and organisations

The IRA have had contacts with foreign governments and other illegal armed organisations.

Libya has been the biggest single supplier of arms and funds to the IRA, donating large amounts: three shipments of arms in the early 1970s and another three in the mid-1980s, the latter reputedly enough to arm two regular infantry battalions.[15]

The IRA has also received weapons and logistical support from Irish Americans in the United States. Apart from the Libyan aid, this has been the main source of overseas IRA support. American support has been weakened by the War against Terrorism, and the fallout from the events of 11 September 2001.[16][17]

In the United States in November 1982, five men were acquitted of smuggling arms to the IRA after they claimed the Central Intelligence Agency had approved the shipment, although the CIA denied this.[54] There are allegations of contact with the East German Stasi, based on the testimony of a Soviet defector to British intelligence Vasili Mitrokhin. Mitrokhin revealed that although the Soviet KGB gave some weapons to the Marxist Official IRA, it had little sympathy with the Provisionals.[55] The IRA has received some training and support from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In 1977, the Provisionals received a 'sizeable' arms shipment from the PLO, including small arms, rocket launchers and explosives, but this was intercepted at Antwerp after the Israeli intelligence alerted its European counterparts.[56] In the 1980s, the Provisionals also had some contact with Hezbollah.[citation needed]

It has been alleged that the IRA had a co-operative relationship with Basque militant group ETA since the early 1970s. In 1973 it was accused of providing explosives for the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco in Madrid.[57] In the 1970s, ETA also exchanged a quantity of handguns for training in explosives with the IRA.[58] In addition, the leaders of the political wings of the respective Irish republican and Basque separatist movements have exchanged visits on several occasions to express solidarity with each other's cause.[59] Prominent former IRA prisoners such as Brendan McFarlane and Brendan Hughes have campaigned for the release of ETA prisoners.[60][61] In the mid-1990s after the IRA ceasefire, Basque media outlets followed the process carefully, sending a team to follow the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday as they campaigned for apology.[citation needed]

In May 1996, the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia's internal security service, publicly accused Estonia of arms smuggling, and claimed that the IRA had contacted representatives of Estonia's volunteer defence force, Kaitseliit, and some non-government groups to buy weapons.[62][63] In 2001, three Irish men, who later became known as the Colombia Three, were arrested after allegedly training Colombian guerrillas, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in bomb making and urban warfare techniques. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations in its report of 24 April 2002 concluded "Neither committee investigators nor the Colombians can find credible explanations for the increased, more sophisticated capacity for these specific terror tactics now being employed by the FARC, other than IRA training".[64]

Good Friday Agreement

The IRA ceasefire in 1997 formed part of a process that led to the 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. One aim of the Agreement is that all paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland cease their activities and disarm by May 2000.

Calls from Sinn Féin led the IRA to commence disarming in a process that was monitored by Canadian General John de Chastelain's decommissioning body in October 2001. However, following the collapse of the Stormont power-sharing government in 2002, which was partly triggered by allegations that republican spies were operating within Parliament Buildings and the Civil Service, the IRA temporarily broke off contact with General de Chastelain.[citation needed]

In December 2004, attempts to persuade the IRA to disarm entirely collapsed when the Democratic Unionist Party, under Ian Paisley, insisted on photographic evidence. Justice Minister Michael McDowell (in public, and often) insisted that there would need to be a complete end to IRA activity.[citation needed]

At the beginning of February 2005, the IRA declared that it was withdrawing from the disarmament process, but in July 2005 it declared that its campaign of violence was over, and that transparent mechanisms would be used, under the de Chastelain process, to satisfy the Northern Ireland communities that it was disarming totally.

End of the armed campaign

On 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",[65] and shortly afterwards completed decommissioning. In September 2008, the nineteenth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission stated that the IRA was "committed to the political path" and no longer represented "a threat to peace or to democratic politics", and that the IRA's Army Council was "no longer operational or functional".[66][67] The organisation remains classified as a proscribed terrorist group in the UK and as an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland.[9][68] Two small groups split from the IRA, the Continuity IRA in 1986, and the Real IRA in 1997. Both reject the Good Friday Agreement and continue to engage in paramilitary activity.

In a statement read by Séanna Breathnach, the organisation stated that it had instructed its members to dump all weapons and not to engage in "any other activities whatsoever" apart from assisting "the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means". Furthermore, the organisation authorised its representatives to engage immediately with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) to verifiably put its arms beyond use "in a way which will further enhance public confidence and to conclude this as quickly as possible".[65]

This is not the first time that organisations styling themselves IRA have issued orders to dump arms.[69] After its defeat in the Irish Civil War in 1924 and at the end of its unsuccessful Border Campaign in 1962, the IRA Army Council issued similar orders. However, this is the first time in Irish republicanism that any organisation has voluntarily decided to dispose of its arms.[70] Some authors, like Patrick McCarthy, Peter Taylor and Brendan O'Brien concluded that, unlike previous IRA campaigns, the provisionals were not defeated.[71][72][73]

On 25 September 2005, international weapons inspectors supervised the full disarmament of the IRA, a long-sought goal of Northern Ireland's peace process. The office of IICD Chairman John de Chastelain, a retired Canadian general who oversaw the weapons' decommissioning at secret locations, released details regarding the scrapping of many tons of IRA weaponry at a news conference in Belfast on 26 September. He said the arms had been "put beyond use" and that they were "satisfied that the arms decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA's arsenal."

The IRA permitted two independent witnesses, including a Methodist minister, Rev. Harold Good, and Father Alec Reid, a Roman Catholic priest close to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, to view the secret disarmament work.[74] Ian Paisley, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), complained that since the witnesses were appointed by the IRA themselves, rather than being appointed by the British or Irish governments, they therefore could not be said to be unbiased witnesses to the decommissioning. Nationalists and Catholics viewed his comments as reflecting his refusal to support devolution in Northern Ireland with Catholics in power.[75]

In 2011 Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said: "The war is over. The IRA is gone. The IRA embraced, facilitated and supported the peace process. When a democratic and peaceful alternative to armed struggle was created the IRA left the stage."[76]

Continuing activities of IRA members

The 10th report published in April 2006 from the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), an organisation monitoring activity by paramilitary groups on behalf of the British and Irish governments, prefaced its remarks about IRA activity by commenting that the IRA leadership has committed itself to following a peaceful path and that in the last three months this process has involved the further dismantling of the IRA as a military structure.

The report commented that there was no paramilitary or violent activity sanctioned by the leadership; there is a substantial erosion in the IRA's capacity to return to a military campaign; and, that the IRA had no intentions of returning to violence.[77] However the IMC report also noted that following decommissioning, the IRA still retained a considerable amount of weaponry beyond what was needed for self-defence.[78]

The IMC has come in for criticism (mainly by republicans) as having been set up outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement as a sop to Unionism. Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy stated that the IMC was established outside and in breach of the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and that it is politically biased, and had an anti-Sinn Féin agenda.[79]

On 4 October 2006, the IMC ruled that the IRA were no longer a threat.[80]

In late 2008, the The Sunday Times quoted a senior Garda intelligence officer as saying that "the IRA had recruited in recent years, still held arms despite apparently decommissioning the lot, and was being maintained in 'shadow form.'" The Gardaí also said that the IRA was still capable of carrying out attacks.[78][81] A senior member of the PSNI, Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan, said that it was unlikely that the IRA would disband in the foreseeable future.[82]

At the end of March 2010, SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said that the IRA were still active and that they had been responsible for a number of incidents in his constituency including a punishment shooting and an armed robbery during which a shot was fired.[83]

In August 2010, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the Republican Network for Unity and the UPRG, claimed that the IRA were responsible for a shooting incident in the Gobnascale area of Derry. It is claimed that up to 20 masked men, some armed with handguns, attacked a group of teenagers who were engaging in anti-social behaviour at an interface area. A number of the teenagers were attacked and shots were fired into the air. The men are then reported to have removed their masks when the PSNI arrived and were subsequently identified as members of the Republican Movement. Sinn Féin denied the IRA were involved.[84][85][86]

"P. O'Neill"

The IRA traditionally uses a well-known signature in its public statements, which are all issued under the pseudonym of "P. O'Neill" of the "Irish Republican Publicity Bureau, Dublin".[87] According to Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, it was Seán Mac Stiofáin, as chief of staff of the IRA, who invented the name. However, under his usage, the name was written and pronounced according to Irish orthography and pronunciation as "P. Ó Néill". According to Danny Morrison, the pseudonym "S. O'Neill" was used during the 1940s.[87]


Throughout the Troubles, some members of the IRA passed information to the security forces. Members of the IRA suspected of being informants were usually executed after an IRA court-martial. In the 1980s, many more IRA members were imprisoned on the testimony of former IRA members known as "supergrasses" such as Raymond Gilmour. A Belfast newspaper has claimed that secret documents show that half of the IRA's top men were also British informers.[88]

In recent years, there have been some high profile allegations of senior IRA figures having been British informers. In May 2003, a number of newspapers named Freddie Scappaticci as the alleged identity of the British Force Research Unit's most senior informer within the IRA, code-named Stakeknife, who is thought to have been head of the IRA's internal security force, charged with rooting out and executing informers. Scappaticci denies that this is the case and, in 2003, failed in a legal bid to force the then NIO Minister, Jane Kennedy, to state he was not an informer.[89] She has refused to do so, and since then Scappaticci has not launched any libel actions against the media making the allegations.

On 16 December 2005, senior Sinn Féin member Denis Donaldson appeared before TV cameras in Dublin and confessed to being a British spy for twenty years.[90] He was expelled from Sinn Féin and was said to have been debriefed by the party.[91] Donaldson was a former IRA volunteer and subsequently highly placed Sinn Féin party member. Donaldson had been entrusted by Gerry Adams with the running of Sinn Féin's operations in the U.S. in the early 1990s.[92] On 4 April 2006, Donaldson was found shot dead at his retreat near Glenties in County Donegal.[93] When asked whether he felt Donaldson's role as an informer in Sinn Féin was significant, the IRA double agent using the pseudonym "Kevin Fulton" described Donaldson's role as a spy within Sinn Féin as "the tip of the iceberg".[94] The Real IRA claimed responsibility for his assassination on 12 April 2009.[95]

On 8 February 2008, Roy McShane was taken into police protection after being unmasked as an informant. McShane, a former IRA member, had been Gerry Adams' personal driver for many years. Adams said he was "too philosophical" to feel betrayed.[96]

See also


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Moloneyxiv
  2. Murray, Gerard & Tonge, Jonathan (2005). Sinn Féin and the SDLP: From Alienation to Participation. C Hurst & Co Publishers. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-85065-649-4. 
  3. Bowyer Bell, J. (1987). The Gun in Politics: Analysis of Irish Violence, 1916–86. Transaction Publishers. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-56000-566-7. 
  4. Dillon, Martin (1996). 25 Years of Terror: The IRA's war against the British. Bantam Books. p. 125. ISBN 0-553-40773-2. 
  5. Moloney, Ed (2002). A Secret History of the IRA. Penguin Books. p. 246. ISBN 0-14-101041-X.
  6. The Provisional IRA by Patrick Bishop and Eamonn Mallie (ISBN 0-552-13337-X), p. 117.
  7. Henry McDonald (13 February 2005). "Grieving sisters square up to IRA". The Observer. London.,6903,1411801,00.html. Retrieved 20 July 2007. 
  8. Moloney, p. 707
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Home Office – Proscribed Terror Groups — Home Office website. Retrieved 11 May 2007
  10. "McDowell insists IRA will remain illegal". RTÉ. 28 August 2005. Retrieved 18 May 2007. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Terrorist Organization Reference Guide January 2004
  12. O'Brien The Long War, p. 119.
  13. O'Brien, Long War, p. 107.
  14. The Prevention of Terrorism in British Law by Clive Walker (ISBN 978-0719022036), page 9
  15. 15.0 15.1 Bowyer Bell, J. (1997). The Secret Army: The IRA. Transaction Publishers, pp. 556–571. ISBN 1-56000-901-2
  16. 16.0 16.1 John O'Sullivan (15 February 2005). "The Padre Pio". National Review. Retrieved 21 April 2007. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 John Lloyd (28 October 2002). "Sinn Féin could win the peace". New Statesman. UK. Retrieved 21 April 2007. [dead link]
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Taylorp156
  19. Taylor, Peter (2001). Brits. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 184–185. ISBN 0-7475-5806-X. 
  20. The Irish Troubles: A Generation of Violence 1967–1992 by John Bowyer Bell (ISBN 0-7171-2201-8), page 555
  21. Bowcott, Owen (15 August 2006). "Belfast police sorry for failing woman's family". The Guardian. 
  22. CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths
  23. Vincent Kearney (9 March 2007). "IRA "collusion" inquiry launched". BBC News. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  24. "Controversy over republican's murder". BBC. 17 October 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2007. 
  25. "IRA denies murdering dissident". BBC. 18 October 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2007. 
  26. Richard English (2003), Armed Struggle – The History of the IRA, p.378
  27. Lost Lives (2004. Ed's David McKitrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney, Chris Thornton, David McVea)
  28. Sutton Index of Deaths: Crosstabulations
  29. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named autogenerated7
  30. Lost Lives, p. 1531.
  31. O'Brien, Long War, p. 26.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Mallie, Bishop, p. 12.
  33. S.I. No. 162/1939 — Unlawful Organisation (Suppression) Order, 1939
  34. Significant IRA statement still leaves questions: Alliance
  35. Attwood: Libya Compensenation Claim Backs Seizure Of Ira Assets
  36. "MP denies 'IRA freedom fighters' claim". BBC. 30 December 2001. Retrieved 24 June 2007. 
  37. Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Research Agenda by Richard Jackson, Marie Breen Smyth and Jeroen Gunning (ISBN 978-0415455077), page 142
  38. Terrorists and Freedom Fighters (People, politics and powers) by David Hayes (ISBN 978-0853406525), page 77
  39. Terrorism, Ideology, and Revolution/the Origins of Modern Political Violence by Noel O'Sullivan (ISBN 978-0813303451), page 104
  40. Seanad Éireann - Volume 135 - 29 April 1993 - International Fund for Ireland: Statements
  41. Irish Republican News
  42. DUP warns Sinn Fein over IRA Army Council - Local - Limerick Leader
  43. Recently released (3 May 2006) British Government documents show that overlapping membership between British Army units like the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and loyalist paramilitary groups was a wider problem than a "few bad apples" as was often claimed. The documents include a report titled "Subversion in the UDR" which details the problem. In 1973; an estimated 5–15% of UDR soldiers were directly linked to loyalist paramilitary groups, it was believed that the "best single source of weapons, and the only significant source of modern weapons, for Protestant extremist groups was the UDR", it was feared UDR troops were loyal to "Ulster" alone rather than to "Her Majesty's Government", the British Government knew that UDR weapons were being used in the assassination and attempted assassination of Roman Catholic civilians by loyalist paramilitaries. 2 May 2006 edition of the Irish News available here.
  44. Gerry Adam's 2006 Easter Message was that "unfinished business" remains, available here [1]. "But in truth The Proclamation is also unfinished business. It is unfinished business which the vast majority of the Irish people want to see brought to completion."
  45. Transitional Justice in Northern Ireland Submitted for the 6th Annual Dalhousie University Graduate Symposium, 10 and 11 March 2011 in Halifax, Nova Scotia
  46. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 30 October 2002 (pt 8)". House of Commons. 30 October 2002. Retrieved 17 March 2007. 
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  48. 48.0 48.1 Parliamentary Debates (Official Report – Unrevised) Dáil Éireann Thursday, 23 June 2005 – Page 1[dead link]
  49. O'Brien, p. 115.
  50. O'Brien, p. 198.
  51. Local Government Elections 1993
  52. (Coogan p284)
  53. O'Brien, p. 199.
  54. "A Chronology of the Conflict – 1982". CAIN. Retrieved 17 March 2007. 
  55. Mitrokhin, Vasili (2000). The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB. Basic Books. p. 384. ISBN 0-465-00312-5. 
  56. Mallie, Bishop, the Provisional IRA, p 307
  57. Hamilton, Fiona (27 December 1973). "IRA provided explosives for Madrid assassination". The Times. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  58. Mallie, Bishop, p. 308.
  59. for example
  60. "Las excarcelaciones provocaron momentos difíciles para las víctimas, pero prevaleció la paz" (in Spanish). NOTICIAS DE GIPUZKOA. 17 June 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2008. [dead link]
  61. David Bamber (4 March 2000). "Basque bombers top up IRA's terror arsenal". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 27 September 2007. 
  62. J. Michael Waller (15 May 1996). "Russia Reform Monitor No. 137". American Foreign Policy Council. Archived from the original on 27 September 2006. Retrieved 26 March 2007. 
  63. Deborah Michaels (14 May 1996). "No. 93, Part II". Open Media Research Institute. Retrieved 26 March 2007. 
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  65. 65.0 65.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named
  66. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named IMC12
  67. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named autogenerated2
  68. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named autogenerated9
  69. Arms Dumps and the IRA, 1923-32 | History Today
  70. "IRA in arms breakthrough". BBC News. 23 October 2001. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  71. Taylor, p. 349
  72. McCarthy, Patrick (2002). Language, Politics and Writing: Stolentelling in Western Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 120. ISBN 1403960240
  73. Hayden, Tom (2003). Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America. Verso, p. 179. ISBN 1859844774
  74. Maintaining belief in peace aided N. Ireland transformation By Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe, 27 September 2005.
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  76. "Adams condemns violent dissidents". 
  77. Tenth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission April 2006 available in PDF here [2][dead link] NOTE: the IMC report is issued every six months.
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  84. Published on Thu 30 11 September:45:22 BST 2010. "Were Provos behind shooting incident in Gobnascale? Londonderry Sentinel". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  85. Published on Mon 9 August 17:04:31 BST 2010. "Mainstream Republicans blamed for Gobnascale Indident". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
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  • Martin Dillon, 25 Years of Terror – the IRA's War against the British
  • Richard English, Armed Struggle – A History of the IRA, MacMillan, London 2003, ISBN 1-4050-0108-9
  • Peter Taylor, Provos – the IRA and Sinn Féin
  • Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, Penguin, London 2002,
  • Eamonn Mallie and Patrick Bishop, The Provisional IRA, Corgi, London 1988. ISBN 0-552-13337-X
  • Toby Harnden, Bandit Country – The IRA and South Armagh, Hodder & Stoughton, London 1999, ISBN 0-340-71736-X
  • Henry Patterson, The Politics of Illusion; A Political History of the IRA, Serif, London 1997, ISBN 978-1-897959-31-2 [5]
  • Paul Bew, Henry Patterson, Peter Gibbon, Northern Ireland, 1921 – 2001, Serif, London, 2002, ISBN 978-1-897959-38-1 [6]
  • Brendan O'Brien, The Long War – The IRA and Sinn Féin. O'Brien Press, Dublin 1995, ISBN 0-86278-359-3
  • Tim Pat Coogan, The Troubles,
  • Tim Pat Coogan, The IRA: A History (1994)
  • Tony Geraghty, The Irish War, 1998 ISBN 0-8018-6456-9
  • David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney, Chris Thornton, David McVea, Lost Lives.
  • J Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army – The IRA, 1997 3rd Edition, ISBN 1-85371-813-0
  • Christopher Andrews, The Mitrokhin Archive (also published as The Sword and the Shield)
  • Ronald John Weitzer, Policing Under Fire: Ethnic Conflict and Police-Community Relations in Northern Ireland, State University of New York Press (Jan 1995), ISBN 079142247X.

External links

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