Jump to Navigation

The Derryard Attack

Print this article   Email this article

Chris Darnell examines the political and military background to the IRA’s last major action against the British army.

The 1st Battalion King's Own Scottish Borderers commissioned David Rowlands to paint 'The Derryard Action' soon after the event.The ‘Long War’ in Northern Ireland spanned 36 years from 1969 to 2005 and the terms of office of seven British prime ministers. The violent interaction between the IRA and the British security forces not only became a daily media feed for three generations of British and Irish citizens and frequently dominated world events, its accumulated effects caused considerable human and physical damage within British society. The Troubles were a significant period of modern history, yet are seldom examined in a historical context. It is as if Northern Ireland is deliberately ignored by historians today.

One of the questions that is not often asked is why, during certain key periods, did the IRA act in the way it did? What were the links between politics and paramilitary actions at such times and what was their historical resonance and relevance? By looking at the period between the Anglo-Irish agreement of 1985 and the announcement of the IRA’s cessation of military operations in 1994 it is possible to answer some of these questions, at least in part.

 This article is available to History Today online subscribers only. If you are a subscriber, please log in.

Please choose one of these options to access this article:

Call our Subscriptions department on +44 (0)20 3219 7813 for more information.

If you are logged in but still cannot access the article, please contact us

About Us | Contact Us | Advertising | Subscriptions | Newsletter | RSS Feeds | Ebooks | Podcast | Submitting an Article
Copyright 2012 History Today Ltd. All rights reserved.