The Irish Republican Army: Freedom Fighters or Terrorists?
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This paper looks closely at the IRA's troubled history and its many and varied incarnations in order to ascertain whether this group's actions are taken with the ultimate aim of terror in mind. The paper highlights the deeply-rooted nature of its motives and finds that while it is true that the violence members have employed has terrorized many, including civilians, it is not clear that terror was their intention, nor is it clear that other paths were open to them. The paper notes that once violence achieved its aims of garnering recognition of the injustices suffered by republicans in Ireland, most of the IRA were happy to participate in peace talks. The paper therefore draws the conclusion that this willingness to abandon violence when it has served its purposes ultimately excuses the IRA from the accusation of terrorism.
From the Paper:"The Irish Republican Army has its roots in the long-standing conflict between Catholics in the main body of Ireland and Protestants in Northern Ireland. This conflict began when James I gave the northern section of Ireland to Scottish Protestants for colonization in the 17th century (Coogan 4). Though the fighting that followed often involved religion superficially, issues of Irish independence and British interference were never far below the surface. These political issues were intensified by the Act of Union in January of 1801, in which the British government dissolved the Irish parliament and annexed Ireland as part of Great Britain (Massie 121). In addition to being a huge blow to Irish national pride, this move crippled Irish trade and introduced a level of poverty that was only worsened by the horrific famine of the 1840s (Coogan 5-6).
"The passing of the Act of Union led to a burgeoning push for Home Rule in Ireland. This movement almost achieved its purpose under the leadership of Charles Stewart Parnell in the 1880s before personal scandals tarnished both Parnell and the cause for which he fought (Massie 147). In the meantime, modern industry was booming in northern Ireland, leading to an influx of Catholics looking for work."
Sample of Sources Used:
- English, Richard. Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
- Coogan, Tim Pat. The IRA. New York: Palgrave, 2002. Print.
- "The Troubles." CAIN: Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland. Web. 20 May 2010.
- Brown, David. "IRA Are Freedom Fighters and Not a Terrorist Group, Says Mandelson." The Independent (UK). 29 December 2001. Web. 20 May 2010.
- "Provisional IRA: Ware, Ceasefire, Endgame?" BBC NEWS. Web. 20 May 2010.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
The Irish Republican Army: Freedom Fighters or Terrorists? (2013, February 10) Retrieved December 03, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-irish-republican-army-freedom-fighters-or-terrorists-152422/
"The Irish Republican Army: Freedom Fighters or Terrorists?" 10 February 2013. Web. 03 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/the-irish-republican-army-freedom-fighters-or-terrorists-152422/>