Irish Republican Army

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a terrorist organization originally formed in 1919 and revived in the late 1960s that aims to reunite the Republic of Ireland with Northern Ireland, a province of the United Kingdom.


When the IRA was originally formed, all of Ireland was a British colony. The majority of Ireland's population was Roman Catholic, Celtic, and nationalist—that is, desirous of independence. In the northeast of the country, however, the majority of the population was Protestant, of British or Scots descent, and intent on remaining part of Great Britain.

Under the leadership of Michael Collins, the IRA successfully instigated the Anglo-Irish War (1919–1921).

The peace treaty that followed called for Ireland's partition: 26 Irish counties would become the largely independent Irish Free State, while the remaining 6 northeastern counties (Amtrim, Down, Fermagh, Armagh, Derry, and Tyrone) would become the province of Northern Ireland (also called ...

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