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Irish Republican Army

Militant nationalist and terrorist organization founded in 1919 to resist and eliminate British rule in Ireland.A successor of the Irish Volunteer Force (f.1913), the IRA has carried out attacks in England as well as Ireland, including an attack on the entire Cabinet in 1984 during a Conservative Party conference, and bombs in London and elsewhere. Its political wing is Sinn Fein, but the IRA is not under any political control, resulting in frequent splits. This occurred in 1921 after the Anglo-Irish Treaty, in 1969 over the question of union with Northern Ireland, and in 1996 after a provisional peace agreement was made with Britain but some IRA wings refused to surrender arms.

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