IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY (THE I.R.A.)
1.0 Background and History
The I.R.A. has been around for some time. Activist militant Irishmen joined Feniean brotherhoods, organization that evolved into the Sinn Fein and it militant wing, the Irish Republican Army, which was founded in 1858. Money to support these movements came from Irishmen abroad, many of them having worked their way to influential positions in American trade unions.
In 1867, anti-English sentiments were inflamed when a mob in Manchester, England attacked a police van in an attempt to free two Irish-American members of the pro-Irish-separatist Fenian Brotherhood. A policeman was killed and three members of group were executed ...view middle of the document...
Whether it's fear or respect, who can say?"
Sinn Fein is the political arm of the IRA. It means "Ourselves Alone." It long claimed to have nothing to with violence. A number of American organizations provided financial and political support for Sinn Fein.
IRA funeral On the morning of "Bloody Sunday," November 21, 1920, young killers known as "the Squad." shot 19 men suspected of being part of British team of spies and hit men, many of them while they were sleeping. The massacre was made possible by the infiltration of Dublin Castle by an activist named Christopher Blake. The British police retaliated that afternoon by firing into a crowd and onto the field during a football match between Dublin and Tipperary. Fourteen people were killed and hundreds were wounded.
After Bloody Sunday, many of the remaining British police in Ireland either resigned or were shot down. Maintaining order was turned over to the Black and Tans (named after their mismatched uniforms), a group of thugs thought of as Sinn Fein sympathizers, who sometimes shot people dead and asked questions later.
After Bloody Sunday The Irish public began to view IRA killers as freedom fighters who were avenging the injustices committed by the British. Irish prisoners went on hunger strikes, the most well known of which was by Terrence MacSwiney, the Lord Mayor of Cork, who lasted 74 days without food before finally dying in a London jail. These events made the world look at the British as bunch of ruthless killers.
2.0 Geographical location
3.0 Recruitment/age bracket
4.0 Training and financing
Their cause has always been a united Ireland, but much of the cash that funds republican groups comes from the United States. So how will they fare amid the new crackdown on terrorism?
It took the attacks on 11 September to bring the full horror of terror attacks home to many Americans. And their sense of outrage is compounded by a feeling that this is a war on terror that cannot be won easily.
Since then, the Bush administration has vowed to come down hard on terrorists operating in the US.
The president has enacted executive powers that allow for the freezing of all assets in the US of suspected Islamic terror groups.
While all American eyes are currently fixed on Muslim extremists, politicians in Northern Ireland have urged President Bush to extend the clampdown to those who raise funds for Irish paramilitary groups.
While Libya's donation of arms to the IRA in the 1980s has been the most public sign of where the republican movement has previously turned for support, the reality is that North America has been the most important link of all.
Following the emergence of the modern republican movement in 1969, the Provisional IRA quickly turned to its Irish-American supporters for funds and guns.
More than 30 years later, those support networks still exist, although the nature of the relationship has changed during the long road of the peace process....