The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was an Irish republican revolutionary military organization. A descendant of the Irish Volunteers, an organization established on November 25, 1913 he organized the Easter Rising in April 1916. In 1919, the Republic of Ireland was proclaimed during the Easter Rising was officially created by an elected assembly and the Irish Volunteers were recognized by the Dáil Éireann as the legitimate army. Since then, the IRA made a guerrilla campaign against British rule in Ireland in the War of Independence in Ireland 1919-1921. (Hopkinson, 1999)
Following the signing in 1921 of Anglo-Irish Treaty which ended the War of Independence, there was a split within the IRA. Members who supported the Treaty formed the nucleus of the Irish National Army founded by IRA leader Michael Collins. However, much of the IRA is opposed to the treaty. The anti-treaty IRA fought a civil war with his former colleagues in 1922-23, with the intention of creating an all-Ireland republic fully independent. Having lost the civil war, this organization remained in existence, with the intention of overthrowing both the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland and the achievement of the Irish Republic proclaimed in 1916. (Parkinson, 2004)
History of Autonomy and Volunteers
The political violence that erupted in Ireland between 1916 and 1923 had its origins in Irish nationalist demands for autonomy within the United Kingdom and the British Empire and union resistance to these demands. In 1914, this issue was at a standstill, with the British government prepared to grant autonomy or self-government to Ireland. This led to the formation of nationalist and unionist militias armed, respectively, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Irish Volunteers. (MacCardle, 1968)
The Government of Ireland Act 1914, more commonly known as the Third Home Rule Act was an Act of Parliament passed by the British Parliament in May 1914 which sought to give Ireland regional autonomy in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Although it received Royal Assent in September 1914, its implementation was delayed until after the First World War, amid fears that opposition to autonomy for the Unionists of Ireland and illegal arms trafficking by Volunteer Force Ulster and the Irish Volunteers would lead to civil war. (Hussey, 2008)
The confrontation was temporarily averted by the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. The Irish Volunteers split. National Volunteers, with over 100,000 members led by the Irish Parliamentary Party leader John Redmond were willing to accept British promises to provide autonomy and about 20,000 of them served in the war in the British army. But nearly 12,000 volunteers, led by Eoin MacNeill and dominated by the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood, refused to join the British war effort and kept the name Irish Volunteers. Whereas MacNeill intend to use force only to resist the imposition of compulsory military service in Ireland or to prevent the use of force to disarm the volunteers, men IRB ...