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Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. The Armalite and the Ballot Box. A Brief History – Part I. Highlights from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland#History Various peoples have lived in Ireland for around 9,000 years

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paramilitaries in northern ireland

Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland

The Armalite and the Ballot Box

a brief history part i
A Brief History – Part I
  • Highlights from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland#History
  • Various peoples have lived in Ireland for around 9,000 years
  • The beginning of contemporary problems traces back to the Plantations of the 16th and 17th centuries
a brief history part ii
A Brief History – Part II
  • During the Plantations, Irish lands were seized and given to British planters (colonists)
  • The second Plantation in Ireland was the Plantation of Ulster, focused around 1607-1609
  • About half of the Ulster Planters were Scottish and the other half English
a brief history part iii
A Brief History – Part III
  • Irish Rebellion of 1641 – end result was Irish Catholics being barred from voting or attending Parliament, institutionalized Protestant rule (Protestant Ascendancy)
  • Images of Protestants killed and massacred in 1641 still adorn Orange Order banners and standards today
a brief history part iv
A Brief History – Part IV
  • 1800 – Irish Parliament passes Act of Union which merges Ireland with U.K.; beginning of direct government
  • 1840s – Famine; around 1 million die, another million emigrate, many to America
  • Agitation for Home Rule throughout the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries
a brief history part v
A Brief History – Part V
  • Theobald Wolfe Tone – 1791 – founded United Irishmen
  • Unsuccessful French-backed invasion in 1798
  • Padraigh (Patrick) Pearse, James Connolly, Easter Rising of 1916
  • Sinn Fein landslide in elections of 1918
  • 1919 - First Dáil
a brief history part vi
A Brief History – Part VI
  • 1918 elections were last ones that took place in whole of Ireland until European Parliament elections 60+ years later
  • 1921 – Anglo-Irish Treaty end Anglo-Irish War, divides Ireland into Republic and Ulster; Collins assassinated in subsequent Irish Civil War
  • Anglo-Irish War – first IRA
the paras
IRA

Official IRA (OIRA)

Provos (PIRA)

INLA

RIRA

Continuity IRA (CAC)

UDA/UFF

UVF

LVF / Red Hand Commando

Red Hand Defenders

The Paras
ira part i
IRA – Part I
  • Saw themselves as heirs to the original IRA, sworn to the spirit of the Easter Rising and the 1919 Dáil
  • Major ideological split in 1969 – Official IRA cease fire (Marxists, “stickies”) vs. Provos (“rosary brigade”, “pinheads”)
  • OIRA ceasefire in 1973, continued to fight with Provos
ira part ii
IRA – Part II
  • Pre-1980s organization: Local volunteers form companies, companies are structured into wider geographic battalions, battlions are structured into regional brigades (ex. Derry Brigade, West Belfast Brigade)
  • Drawback: Once police and military powers increased, easy to “roll” the organization up via legitimate informers, “supergrasses”
ira part iii
IRA – Part III
  • Cell structure replaced army hierarchy around early 1980s
  • Double blind communication structure of dead drops, phone calls; orders come directly from Army Council
  • No one cell knows other cells; much more difficult to compromise
ira part iv
IRA – Part IV
  • Late 1970s, early 1980s: Criminalization of paras; H-Block hunger strikes, 7 IRA and 3 INLA men starve to death
  • Mobilized wider Republican political sentiment; beginning of wider Sinn Fein political success
methods of mayhem
Methods of Mayhem
  • Wide variety of small arms, mostly smuggled from U.S., Libya
  • Kneecappings, shootings on individual level
  • Car bombs in urban areas as an area effect weapon
  • Culvert bombs in rural areas stifled British troop movement on ground
slide16
INLA
  • 1974 break off of OIRA; aligned with Irish Republican Socialist Party
  • Assassinated Conservative MP Airey Neave by car bomb in 1979
  • Became involved in drug trade to finance operations
  • Continually split and weakened by infighting and spin offs
slide17
IPLO
  • Spin off of dissatisfied INLA members in 1986
  • Became heavily involved in drug trade as means of finance early in existence
  • Only stated goal was to fight INLA
  • Due to drug trade, PIRA wiped out IPLO in 1992
slide18
RIRA
  • Biggest contemporary Republican para threat
  • Splinters from Provos who disavowed 1998 Belfast Accords and 2005 announcement of end of campaign
  • 1998 Omagh bomb – 29 dead
  • Affiliated with 32 County Sovereignty Committee
continuity army council
Continuity Army Council
  • Separate splinter from PIRA in 1986 over change in “abstentionism” policy for Sinn Fein
  • Small, limited capacity
uda uff
UDA/UFF
  • Founded in 1971 as umbrella Loyalist para organization
  • Aligned with Ulster Democratic Party
  • Supposedly carried out many killings with aid of or through manipulation from British army, intelligence
  • Heavily involved in racketeering, drug trade; many feuds with UVF
slide21
UVF
  • Traces roots to 1912 (opposed to Home Rule); contemporarily organized in 1960s to fight IRA
  • Minority of members served in UDR while in UVF
  • Shankhill Butchers (~30), Miami Showband massacre
  • Aligned with PUP
lvf red hand commando
LVF / Red Hand Commando
  • Splintered from UVF in 1996 over 1994 cease-fire
  • Mostly fought with UVF and UDA over criminal rackets, territory
  • Only para group to kill a journalist, Martin O’Hagan, who exposed their role in the regional heroin trade
  • Ceased operation in October 2005 (?)
red hand defenders
Red Hand Defenders
  • Formed in 1998 from militant UDA and LVF members
  • Mostly limited to pipe bombs and individual shootings
  • “Soft” Catholic/nationalist targets and UDA, LVF members
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