Talk:Irish Republican Army

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The Irish Republican Army refers to, at least, three organisations. The most important, the "Old IRA" is not mentioned at the top of this page. It should by right be under this title as it was the original organisation, its members are deemed heroes of the Irish struggle against British imperialism and its founders were also the founders of the modern state of Ireland, otherwise known as the Republic of Ireland. They are the Washington, Jefferson etc of Irish resistance to British rule. Although the term Irish Republican Army was first used in 1919, the new article could justifiably cover the period 1916-1923, at least. The IRA essentially arose out of the Easter Rising in 1916, most particularly the execution of the leaders by the British in the summer of 1916 which created enormous sympathy for the insurgents. In 1918, Sinn Féin had an overwhelming victory in the General Election of that year, and the IRA came into being in 1919. The antecedent of the Irish Republican Army was the Irish Republican Brotherhood, otherwise known as the Fenians. They had some 60,000 members in the latter nineteenth century in Ireland and, especially, the United States. They were dedicated to creating an all-Ireland republic free from British rule. In contrast to all this, the Official Irish Republican Army and the Provisional Irish Republican Army should be under two separate headings, as they have quite different histories. For good measure, one could have an article on the Real Irish Republican Army and the Continuity Irish Republican Army. These last two are not really of much significance. The Provisional Irish Republican Army is, however, the most important of all these by a long shot. They, the "Provos" are the organisation which has been fighting the British government since the IRA split into "Official" ("stickies") and Provisional wings in December 1969. The current leaders of Provisional Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness were senior leaders of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. TomBarry 20:35, 28 May 2008 (EDT)