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Научная работа для НОУ по теме "Проблемы терроризма в Северной Ирландии"

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Introduction 3

Chapter 1: General knowledge about terrorism: 5

    1. Definition of terrorism; 5

    2. History of terrorism; 7

    3. Types of terrorism; 9

    4. Forms and methods; 11

    5. Goals and motivation 12

Chapter 2: Terrorism in Northern Ireland: 15

2.1History of the conflict; 15

2.2 Present day situation (the last 20 years); 19

2.3 Sinn Fein Party; 21

2.4 The emergence of IRA; 22

2.5 IRA campaign and organization 24

2.6 The problem today 27

2.7 Atrocities on both sides 28

Conclusion 30

List of references 32

Attachments 33


It is absolutely clear that terrorism has become one of the major challenges in the endless chain of problems facing the world community. A lot can be said about its origins and currant causes as well as the financial, social and political roots that feed it. Terrorism is not new, and even though it has been used since the beginning of recorded history it can be relatively hard to define. Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. However, it will not make the world safer. Terrorism is changing world relations: neighbors become enemies and enemies become friends, united by the common interests. It has turned into a true multi-dimensional monster that has incorporated a variety of unlawful actions. All acts of terrorism result in the loss of innocent human lives. In other words, overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians. There are different measures to eradicate the problem of terrorism: to negotiate a settlement of the problem, to prevent financial support, to destroy the head quarters, to kill the leaders, to unite the efforts of many countries, but terrorism is still widely practiced. It is not easy to solve this problem. Terrorism finds a fertile ground anywhere when it can shade into criminal activity. There is also "state-sponsored" terrorism. To my mind it will always exist. Terrorism is a very powerful World Wide Net.

The purpose of the work is to give the systemized description of the terrorist problem in Northern Ireland. To fulfill this purpose several objects were put forward. They are:

  • to give general information about the problem of terror and its history;

  • to analyze and synthesize the previous experience on this topic;

  • to designate the reasons for its appearance in Northern Ireland;

  • to trace the history of terrorist organizations committing acts of violence in the country.

Chapter 1: General knowledge about terrorism

1.1 Definition of terrorism

Various legal systems and government agencies use different definitions of terrorism in their national legislation. Moreover, the International community has been slow to formulate a universally agreed, legally binding definition of this crime. These difficulties arise from the fact that the term "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged.

These divergences have made it impossible for the United Nations to conclude a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that incorporates a single, all-encompassing, legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism. Nonetheless, the international community has adopted a series of sectoral conventions that define and criminalize various types of terrorist activities. Moreover, since 1994, the United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly condemned terrorist acts using the following political description of terrorism: "Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them”.

It is not only individual agencies within the same governmental apparatus that cannot agree on a single definition of terrorism. Experts and other long-established scholars in the field are equally incapable of reaching a consensus. In the first edition of the survey, “Political terrorism: A Research Guide,” more than a hundred pages were devoted to examining more than a hundred different definition of terrorism in a effort to discover a broadly acceptable, reasonably comprehensive explication of the word. Four years and a second edition later, it was no closer to the goal of the quest, conceding in the first sentence of the revised volume that the“search for an adequate definition is still on”.

It has been noted that "the only general characteristic of terrorism generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence"

Terrorist attacks are usually carried out in such a way as to maximize the severity and length of the psychological impact. Each act of terrorism is a “performance” devised to have an impact on many large audiences. Terrorists also attack national symbols, to show power and to attempt to shake the foundation of the country or society they are opposed to. This may negatively affect a government, while increasing the prestige of the given terrorist organization and/or ideology behind a terrorist act.

Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim. The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. The terrorists plan their attack to obtain the greatest publicity, choosing targets that symbolize what they oppose. The effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not in the act itself, but in the public’s or government’s reaction to the act. For example, in 1972 at the Munich Olympics, the Black September Organization killed 11 Israelis. The Israelis were the immediate victims. But the true target was the estimated 1 billion people watching the televised event.

There are three perspectives of terrorism: the terrorist’s, the victim’s, and the general public’s. The phrase “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is a view terrorists themselves would accept. Terrorists do not see themselves as evil. They believe they are legitimate combatants, fighting for what they believe in, by whatever means possible. A victim of a terrorist act sees the terrorist as a criminal with no regard for human life. The general public’s view is the most unstable. The terrorists take great pains to foster a “Robin Hood” image in hope of swaying the general public’s point of view toward their cause. This sympathetic view of terrorism has become an integral part of their psychological warfare and needs to be countered vigorously.

1.2 History of Terrorism

Scholars dispute whether the roots of terrorism date back to the 1st century and the Sicarii Zealots, to the 11th century and the Al-Hashshashin, to the 19th century and Narodnaya Volya, or to other eras. Other pre-Reign of Terror historical events sometimes associated with terrorism are the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to destroy the English Parliament in 1605, and the Boston Tea Party, an attack on British property by the Sons of Liberty in 1773, three years prior to the American Revolution.

In the 1st century CE, the Jewish Zealots in Judaea Province rebelled, killing prominent collaborators with Roman rule. In 6 CE, according to contemporary historian Josephus, Judas of Galilee formed a small and more extreme offshoot of the Zealots, the Sicarii ("dagger men"). Their efforts also directed against Jewish "collaborators," including temple priests, Sadducees, Herodians, and other wealthy elites. According to Josephus, the Sicarii would hide short daggers under their cloaks, mingle with crowds at large festivals, murder their victims, and then disappear into the panicked crowds. Their most successful assassination was of the high priest Jonathan.

In the late 11th century CE, the Hashshashin (a.k.a. the Assassins) arose, an offshoot of the Ismā'īlī sect of Shia Muslims. Led by Hassan-i Sabbah and opposed to Fatimid rule, the Hashshashin militia seized Alamut and other fortress strongholds across Persia. Hashshashin forces were too small to challenge enemies militarily, so they assassinated city governors and military commanders in order to create alliances with militarily powerful neighbors.

Narodnaya Volya was a Russian left-wing terrorist organization, best known for the successful assassination of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. It created a centralized, well disguised, and most significant organization in a time of diverse liberation movements in Russia.

No matter what we will consider the first act of terrorism, it is clear that this phenomenon was faced by people many centuries ago, though it might not have had such a determination.

1.3 Types of terrorism

In early 1975, the Law Enforcement Assistant Administration in the United States formed the National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. One of the five volumes that the committee wrote was entitled Disorders and Terrorism, produced by the Task Force on Disorders and Terrorism under the direction of H.H.A. Cooper, Director of the Task Force staff. The Task Force classified terrorism into six categories.

Civil disorder – a form of collective violence interfering with the peace, security, and normal functioning of the community.

Political terrorism – violent criminal behaviour designed primarily to generate fear in the community, or substantial segment of it, for political purposes.

Non-Political terrorism – terrorism that is not aimed at political purposes but which exhibits “conscious design to create and maintain a high degree of fear for coercive purposes, but the end is individual or collective gain rather than the achievement of a political objective.”

Quasi-terrorism – the activities incidental to the commission of crimes of violence that are similar in form and method to genuine terrorism but which nevertheless lack its essential ingredient. It is not the main purpose of the quasi-terrorists to induce terror in the immediate victim as in the case of genuine terrorism, but the quasi-terrorist uses the modalities and techniques of the genuine terrorist and produces similar consequences and reaction. For example, the fleeing felon who takes hostages is a quasi-terrorist, whose methods are similar to those of the genuine terrorist but whose purposes are quite different.

Limited political terrorism – genuine political terrorism is characterized by a revolutionary approach; limited political terrorism refers to “acts of terrorism which are committed for ideological or political motives but which are not part of a concerted campaign to capture control of the state.

Official or state terrorism –"referring to nations whose rule is based upon fear and oppression that reach similar to terrorism or such proportions.” It may also be referred to as Structural Terrorism defined broadly as terrorist acts carried out by governments in pursuit of political objectives, often as part of their foreign policy.

1.4 Forms and methods

1. Explosions state, industrial, transport, military facilities, editions of newspapers and magazines, various offices, party committees, apartment houses, stations, shops, theaters, restaurants etc.

2. Individual terror or political murders – officials, public figures, bankers, employees, enforcement bodies etc.

3. Political abductions. As a rule, abduct large statesmen, industrialists, journalists, military, foreign diplomats etc. the abduction Purpose – political blackmail (requirements of performance of certain political conditions, unbindings of accomplices, the repayment etc.)

4. Capture of establishments, buildings, banks, embassies etc., accompanied by capture of hostages. More often it is followed by negotiations with representatives of the authorities, but the history knows also examples of destruction of hostages. The possession hostage allows terrorists to carry on negotiations «from a force position». Today it is one of the most widespread forms of terrorism.

5. Capture of planes, the ships or other vehicles, accompanied by capture of hostages. This form of terrorist activity was widely adopted in 1980.

1.5 Goals and Motivations of Terrorists

Ideology and motivation will influence the objectives of terrorist operations, especially regarding the casualty rate. Groups with secular ideologies and non-religious goals will often attempt highly selective and discriminate acts of violence to achieve a specific political aim. This often requires them to keep casualties at the minimum amount necessary to attain the objective. This is both to avoid a backlash that might severely damage the organization, and also maintain the appearance of a rational group that has legitimate grievances. By limiting their attacks they reduce the risk of undermining external political and economic support. Groups that comprise a "wing" of an insurgency, or are affiliated with aboveground, sometimes legitimate, political organizations often operate under these constraints. The tensions caused by balancing these considerations are often a prime factor in the development of splinter groups and internal factions within these organizations.

In contrast, religiously oriented and millenarian groups typically attempt to inflict as many casualties as possible. Because of the apocalyptic frame of reference they use, loss of life is irrelevant, and more casualties are better. Losses among their co-religionists are of little account, because such casualties will reap the benefits of the afterlife. Likewise, non-believers, whether they are the intended target or collateral damage, deserve death, and killing them may be considered a moral duty. The Kenyan bombing against the U.S. Embassy in 1998 inflicted casualties on the local inhabitants in proportion to U.S. personnel of over twenty to one killed, and an even greater disparity in the proportion of wounded (over 5000 Kenyans were wounded by the blast; 95% of total casualties were non-American ). Fear of backlash rarely concerns these groups, as it is often one of their goals to provoke overreaction by their enemies, and hopefully widen the conflict.

The type of target selected will often reflect motivations and ideologies. For groups professing secular political or social motivations, their targets are highly symbolic of authority; government offices, banks, national airlines, and multinational corporations with direct relation to the established order. Likewise, they conduct attacks on representative individuals whom they associate with economic exploitation, social injustice, or political repression. While religious groups also use much of this symbolism, there is a trend to connect it to greater physical devastation. There also is a tendency to add religiously affiliated individuals, such as missionaries, and religious activities, such as worship services, to the targeting equation.

Another common form of symbolism utilized in terrorist targeting is striking on particular anniversaries or commemorative dates. Nationalist groups may strike to commemorate battles won or lost during a conventional struggle, whereas religious groups may strike to mark particularly appropriate observances. Many groups will attempt to commemorate anniversaries of successful operations, or the executions or deaths of notable individuals related to their particular conflict. Likewise, striking on days of particular significance to the enemy can also provide the required impact. Since there are more events than operations, assessment of the likelihood of an attack on a commemorative date is only useful when analyzed against the operational pattern of a particular group or specific members of a group's leadership cadre.

So, a terrorist group commits acts of violence to:

  • Produce widespread fear

  • Obtain worldwide, national, or local recognition for their cause by attracting the attention of the media

  • Harass, weaken, or embarrass government security forces so that the the government overreacts and appears repressive

  • Steal or extort money and equipment, especially weapons and ammunition vital to the operation of their group

  • Destroy facilities or disrupt lines of communication in order to create doubt that the government can provide for and protect its citizens

  • Discourage foreign investments, tourism, or assistance programs that can affect the target country’s economy and support of the government in power

  • Influence government decisions, legislation, or other critical decisions

  • Free prisoners

  • Satisfy vengeance

  • Turn the tide in a guerrilla war by forcing government security forces to concentrate their efforts in urban areas. This allows the terrorist group to establish itself among the local populace in rural areas.

Chapter2: Terrorism in Northern Ireland

2.1 History of the conflict

In this chapter we will systemize the knowledge about Irish history and point out the main stages of the Irish – British conflict.

About 3/5 population of Northern Ireland is Protestants, and more than 2/5 - Catholics. The last make the majority of the population in Londonderry and counties Fermanagh and Tiron. The modern population still reflects consequences of settling of Ireland Englishmen and Scots in the XVII century. This campaign was spent within the limits of the English policy of colonization: the earth was alienated at the Irish land owners and transferred to English and Scottish settlers. After suppression in Ulster in 1609 powerful revolts led by representatives of the large feudal nobility from ethnic Irish there were first colonizers of Ulster: aggressors from England and Scotland have received the acres of the driven and destroyed landowners. These people hadn't something in common any more with the Irish language and cultural tradition, and as an accessory sign to mother country to them served the Protestant religion meaning other ethics, a manner of behavior and system of values, than at actually Irish-Catholics.

Important point of formation of "Protestant" consciousness in Ulster were military victories in 1690-1691 Protestant English kings Wilhelm Oransky over the contender the Scottish king Jacob, the Catholic on religion who has landed in Ireland with intention to collect from local population Catholic army and to use it in struggle for the British throne.

Acceptance in so-called "retaliatory laws" became a consequence of definitive suppression of the Irish excitements, forbidding to Irish to own property, the earth, the weapon, to trade, be trained at schools and first of all - to practice Catholic religion hostile to Englishmen.

The majority of Protestants support continuation of the union of Northern Ireland with the United Kingdom whereas Catholics prefer association with the Irish Republic. Religious beliefs almost are completely identified with political views and reflect deep split in a society.

In 1790th years in the country there was an organization "Incorporated Irish". The republicans inspired by an example of the American war for independence, wanted to rally all supporters of independence of Ireland. Armed revolts against the British government were in 1798, 1803, 1848, and 1867. The armed movement of Irish is continued there were only later 49 years.

In November, 1913 in the country there was organization "Irish volunteers", direct predecessor IRA. It has been based in November 1913 that "to provide safety and support of the rights and privileges to all people of Ireland".

In 1914 it was allowed to import free the weapon when liberals in the British government have opposed it and have tried to stop it forces of army, the high-ranking officers have rebelled, and liberals have receded.

After the beginning of the First World War the leader of Irish party "Self-management" has called "the Irish Volunteers" for struggle on the party of England. And among "Volunteers" there was a split. The most liberal were enlisted in English army, and among insurgents there were the most radical republicans, which steel to plan armed revolt.

On April, 23rd, 1916 the Council of war of "Volunteers" has decided that revolt should begin in the next 24 hours. The circulation of the Declaration proclaiming Ireland by republic has been printed. And on April, 24th, 1916 at 12 o'clock in the afternoon in Dublin the revolt named Easter revolt has begun. Risen have grasped some buildings in the center of Dublin, stations, and have proclaimed the Irish republic, having created Provisional government. Then similar revolts have begun and in the cities of Enniskorti and Atenroj. On revolt suppression English armies led by general Maksuellom have been sent.

Easter Revolt has been suppressed after a week, and sixteen persons from among leaders of revolt have been executed by the British government. But nevertheless some years have been signed later the peace treaty between England and Ireland. According to it, Ireland received independence. And only 6 counties of Ulster remained as a part of Great Britain.

Since that moment Northern Ireland coped according to the Certificate about the government of Ireland. The certificate provided essential degree of autonomy for the North Irish parliament, leaving for the British parliament the questions connected with defense, foreign policy, royal family maintenance, navigation, mail, the Supreme legal proceedings and some taxes.

In 1972, however, the government of Great Britain has dismissed the North Irish parliament. The legislature has passed to the British parliament, and executive v to the minister of affairs of Northern Ireland, being the member of the cabinet. In 1975 the constitutional convent dismissed in 1976, in 1982 v advisory assembly, dismissed in 1986 has been selected. All this time the system of direct board continued to operate. Such position remained till 2000.

Terrorist war of the seventieth-eightieth passed against growth of national consciousness of Catholics and Protestants as representatives of the Irish and English nation and was accompanied by growth of interest to corresponding traditions and language that was promoted by hyperactivity of extreme nationalist parties - "Shinn Fejn" at Catholics and Democratic Party of Ulster at Protestants.

Only in the mid-nineties the crisis connected with growth of influence both among Protestants was outlined in a society, and among Catholics of the moderate parties openly declaring a priority economic and social problem.

Improvement of living conditions of Catholics, clearing of political prisoners-Irish, interdiction of the radical militarized organizations from both parties have made possible cancellation of direct board of England. The coalition government, the general parliament and uniform North Irish assembly in which over an overcoming the crisis representatives of all parties work have been created. Thus the mass and most influential militarized organizations from both parties declared cease-fire.

2.2 Present day situation (the last 20 years)

The most influential political party in Northern Ireland is Ulster the party consisting mainly from Protestants, supporting the union with the United Kingdom and connected with Conservative party of Great Britain. They have broken up to some fractions within 1970 years. The most important is Ulster unionist party and more radical Democratic party. Social democratic and the Labour party supporting association of Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic through the mechanism of the national consent, is the leading political organization of Catholic minority. Party of the Alliance and the moderate centrist group supporting the union with Great Britain and opposing Catholic and Protestant extremism.

The aggressive opposition to the union with Great Britain within the limits of Catholic community is represented mainly by the Irish Republican army (IRA).

The most important Protestant organization in Northern Ireland is the award of Orangemen based in 1795 and supporting union. The award traditionally plays very important role in political and economic life of the country. The underground Protestant organizations include Ulster voluntary forces and Ulster defensive association.

After coming to power in 1997 labourites have resolved contacts between the state representatives and a management "Shinn Fein" which in the answer declared cease-fire. In April, 1998 negotiations between the government and parties of Northern Ireland have led to achievement of the historical Agreement of Passionate Friday. The basic contribution to this event David Trimbl, the leader conducting have brought parties of Ulster, and John Hjum, the leader of moderate nationalist party. The world Nobel Prize became a recognition of their merits.

The agreement provided change of the status of Northern Ireland only with the consent of its inhabitants. The government of the Irish Republic was obliged to remove the constitutional claim on the sovereignty over the entire island. Elections of the North Irish parliament, creation of ministerial council the North-south for cooperation development between Belfast and Dublin, and also the British-Irish council have been planned. On freedom "political" prisoners have been released, and also disarmament of insurgents IRA has begun.

However contradictions between unionists and nationalists soon have become aggravated again and political forces of Ulster and couldn't agree till now about the beginning of a joint management of region. Position is aggravated also with that moderate forces both from Catholics and from Protestants have conceded leading positions to more radical forces.

2.3 Sinn Fein Party

Sinn Féin is a left wing republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves". We will not deepen into its history and ideals, but touch upon some facts which are of primary importance for us.

First of all it must be stated that some historians have difficulties defining the origin of this party. Several organisations with one and the same name and practically identical ideas existed at different periods of time. That is why the question arises – whether they are the stages of the modern party or just several independent groups united then by Arthur Griffith in 1905.

It took its current form in 1970 after a split within the party. Sinn Féin is led by Gerry Adams now. It is currently the second-largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and it is the fourth largest party in the parliament of the Republic of Ireland.

Sinn Féin (SF) is the largest group in the Republican wing of Irish nationalism and is closely associated with the IRA, with the Irish Government alleging that senior members of Sinn Féin have held posts on the IRA Army Council. However, the SF leadership has denied these claims.

A republican document of the early 1980s states, "Both Sinn Féin and the IRA play different but converging roles in the war of national liberation. The Irish Republican Army wages an armed campaign... Sinn Féin maintains the propaganda war and is the public and political voice of the movement".

So, here is the most discussed question – is there any connection between SF and IRA. Though any contacts with any terroristic organisation are denied by SF leaders, I think that it cannot be true. If IRA had not got any supporters or so to say patrons in policy, it would not be so powerful. To add to this SF in one of the biggest parties in Ireland, approved by the majority of the civilians, so it is a fertile ground for IRAs actions.

2.4 The emergence of the IRA.

There known to be many groups performing terrorist acts in the world. In this work a lot was said about the organization operating on the territory of Ireland - IRA. Further we will give a more detailed information about it.

The first steps towards reorganizing the defeated Irish Volunteers were taken on 27 October 1917 when a convention took place in Dublin. This convention, that subsequently became known as an IRA convention, was called to coincide with the Sinn Féin party conference.

Nearly 250 people attended the convention; internment prevented many more from attending. In fact, the Royal Irish Constabulary estimated that 162 companies of volunteers were active in the country, although other sources suggest a higher figure of 390.

The proceedings were presided over by Éamon de Valera, who had been elected President of Sinn Féin the previous day. Also on the platform were Cathal Brugha and many others who were prominent in the reorganizing of the Volunteers in the previous few months, many of them ex-prisoners.

De Valera was elected president. A national executive was also elected, composed of provincial representatives (including Dublin). In addition, a number of directors were elected to head the various IRA departments. Those elected were: Michael Collins (Director for Organisation); Diarmuid Lynch (Director for Communications); Michael Staines (Director for Supply); Rory O'Connor (Director of Engineering). SeánMcGarry was voted General Secretary, while CathalBrugha was made Chairman of the Resident Executive, which in effect made him Chief of Staff.

The original Irish Republican Army (IRA) fought a guerrilla war against British rule in Ireland in the Irish War of Independence 1919-1921. Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6 December 1921, the IRA in the 26 counties that were to become the Irish Free State split between supporters and opponents of the Treaty. The anti-Treaties, sometimes referred to by Free State forces as irregulars, continued to use the name Irish Republican Army (IRA) or in Irish Óglaigh na hÉireann, as did the organization in Northern Ireland which generally supported the pro-Treaty side. It was also adopted as the name of the pro-Treaty National Army and remains the official legal title of the Irish Defence Forces.

2.5 IRA campaign and organization

The IRA fought a guerrilla war against the Crown forces in Ireland from 1919 to July 1921. The most intense period of the war was from November 1920 to July 1921. The IRA campaign can broadly be split into three phases. The first, in 1919, involved the re-organization of the Irish Volunteers as a guerrilla army. Organizers such as Ernie O'Malley were sent around the country to set up viable guerrilla units. On paper, there were 100,000 or so Volunteers enrolled after the conscription crisis of 1918. However, only about 15,000 of these participated in the guerrilla war. In 1919, Collins, the IRA's Director of Intelligence, organized the "Squad"—an assassination unit based in Dublin which killed police involved in intelligence work. There were some arms raids on Royal Irish Constabulary barracks. By the end of 1919, four Dublin Metropolitan Police and 11 RIC men had been killed. The RIC (The armed Royal Irish Constabulary - Ireland's major police force for most of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries) abandoned most of their smaller rural barracks in late 1919. Around 400 of these were burned in a co-ordinated IRA operation around the country in April 1920.

The second phase of the IRA campaign, roughly from January to July 1920, involved attacks on the fortified police barracks located in the towns. Between January and June 1920, 16 of these were destroyed and 29 badly damaged. Several events of late 1920 greatly escalated the conflict. Firstly, the British declared martial law in parts of the country—allowing for internment and executions of IRA men. Secondly they deployed paramilitary forces, the Black and Tans and Auxiliary Division, and more British Army personnel into the country. Thus, the third phase of the war (roughly August 1920–July 1921) involved the IRA taking on a greatly expanded British force, moving away from attacking well defended barracks and instead using ambush tactics. To this end the IRA was re-organized into "flying columns"—permanent guerrilla units, usually about 20 strong, though sometimes larger. In rural areas, the flying columns usually had bases in remote mountainous areas.

While most areas of the country saw some violence in 1919–1921, the brunt of the war was fought in Dublin and the southern province of Munster. In Munster, the IRA carried out a significant number of successful actions against British troops, for instance the ambushing and killing of 17 of 18 Auxiliaries by Tom Barry's column at Kilmicheal in West Cork in November 1920, or Liam Lynch's men killing 13 British soldiers near Millstreet early in the next year. At the Crossbarry Ambush in March 1921, 100 or so of Barry's men fought a sizeable engagement with a British column of 1,200, escaping from the British encircling manoeuvre. In Dublin, the "Squad" and elements of the IRA Dublin Brigade were amalgamated into the "Active Service Unit", under Oscar Traynor, which tried to carry out at least three attacks on British troops a day. Usually, these consisted of shooting or grenade attacks on British patrols. Outside Dublin and Munster, there were only isolated areas of intense activity. For instance, the County Longford IRA under Seán Mac Eoin carried out a number of well planned ambushes and successfully defended the village of Ballinalee against Black and Tan reprisals in a three-hour gun battle. In County Mayo, large scale guerrilla action did not break out until spring 1921, when two British forces were ambushed at Carrowkennedy and Tourmakeady. Elsewhere, fighting was more sporadic and less intense.

In Belfast, the war had a character all of its own. The area had a Protestant and Unionist majority and IRA actions were responded to with reprisals against the Catholic population, including killings (such as the McMahon Murders) and the burning of many homes - as on Belfast's Bloody Sunday. The IRA in Belfast and the north generally, although involved in protecting the Catholic community from loyalists and state forces, undertook an arson campaign against factories and commercial premises. The violence in Belfast alone, which continued until October 1922 long after the truce in the rest of the country, claimed the lives of between 400 and 500 people.

In April 1921, the IRA was again reorganised, in line with the Dáil's endorsement of its actions, along the lines of a regular army. Divisions were created based on region, with commanders being given responsibility, in theory, for large geographical areas. In practice, this had little effect on the localised nature of the guerrilla warfare.

In May 1921, the IRA in Dublin attacked and burned The Custom House. The action was a serious setback as five members were killed and eighty captured.

By the end of the war, in July 1921, the IRA was very hard pressed by the deployment of more British troops into the most active areas and a chronic shortage of arms and ammunition. It has been estimated that the IRA had only about 3,000 rifles (mostly captured from the British) during the war, with a larger number of shotguns and pistols. An ambitious plan to buy arms from Italy in 1921 collapsed when the money did not reach the arms dealers. Towards the end of the war, some Thompson submachine guns were imported from the United States; however 450 of these were intercepted by the American authorities and the remainder only reached Ireland shortly before the Truce.

By June 1921, Collins' assessment was that the IRA was within weeks, possibly even days, of collapse. It had few weapons or ammunition left. Moreover, almost 5,000 IRA men had been imprisoned or interned and over 500 killed. Collins and Mulcahy estimated that the number of effective guerrilla fighters was down to 2,000–3,000. However in the summer of 1921, the war was abruptly ended.

But the conflict isn’t exhausted yet. During the XX century IRA underwent changes: it was reorganized and its political goals became more and more evident.

2.6 The problem today

Though at the end of 1990-s IRA, which was considered to be a combat side of Sinn Fein, became disarmed, it didn’t mean that the fight was finished. The exact IRA started acting in the political field. They found this method more civilized and were ready for a conversation rather than a battle. The period of lull came. However it didn’t last long, there stayed some radical groups that continued its terror. They are Real IRA and Successive IRA which have made the main body of a new terrorist army. If to compare it with previous IRA organization, we may point out that its methods became even more violent than they used to be. IRA at least has been giving a chance to avoid lots of victims be announcing their terror acts ninety minutes before it.

In 2009 the tension was escalated the war was actually started again. The groupings committed several acts, amoung them the murders or bombings of policemen and military men, car thefts, menace and arsons. These days they are acting as if they were beasts without any culture and moral values. They blindly follow the idea of uniting the country whatever it costs. A serious drawback here must be the situation when the governments of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland can’t make up their minds about peaceful measures for solving this problem. Without real political regulations the situation will not improve.

Here the question must be stated: what information do people around possess? Are they aware of the phenomenon of terrorism? Do they know much about the conflicts? That is why we madу a short investigation to find the answers. According to it, unfortunately, people know very little if not to say nothing. There is a huge gap even in the knowledge of general points of terrorism. It is discussed everywhere, but not much is said in essence. Many students have never heard about the Irish – British conflict and moreover they are not at all interested in it. So, if we continue in such a way, we will not even learn when this or that country disappears.

2.7 Atrocities on both sides

The Irish War of Independence was a brutal and bloody affair, with violence and acts of extreme brutality on both sides. The British sent hundreds of World War I veterans to assist the RIC. The veterans at first wore a combination of black police uniforms and tan army uniforms (because of shortages), which, according to one etymology, inspired the nickname Black and Tans. The brutality of the "Black and Tans" is now legendary, although the most excessive repression attributed to the Crown's forces was often that of the Auxiliary Division of the Constabulary. One of the strongest critics of the Black and Tans was King George V who in May 1921 told Lady Margery Greenwood that ‘he hated the idea of the ‘Black and Tans”.’

Typical British reprisals included the burning of houses and businesses, the owners of which occasionally had no connection to the IRA. In addition, after August 1920, the British began executing IRA prisoners. The IRA responded by killing British prisoners. Spies and suspected spies were shot by the IRA and publicly dumped on roadsides.

The most high profile atrocity of the war took place in Dublin in November 1920, and is still known as Bloody Sunday. In the early hours of the morning, Collins' "Squad" assassinated 14 British agents,[citation needed] some in front of their wives. In reprisal, that afternoon, British forces opened fire on a football crowd at Croke Park, killing 14 civilians. Towards the end of the day, two prominent Republicans and a friend of theirs were arrested and killed by Crown Forces.

The IRA was also involved in the destruction of many stately homes in Munster. These belonged to prominent Loyalists who were aiding the Crown forces, and were burnt to discourage the British policy of destroying the homes of Republicans, suspected and actual. Many historic buildings in Ireland were destroyed during the war, most famously the Custom House in Dublin, which was disastrously attacked on de Valera's insistence, to the horror of the more militarily experienced Collins. As he feared, the destruction proved a pyrrhic victory for the Republic, with so many IRA men killed or captured that the IRA in Dublin suffered a severe blow.

This was also a period of social upheaval in Ireland, with frequent strikes as well as other manifestations of class conflict. In this regard, the IRA acted to a large degree as an agent of social control and stability, driven by the need to preserve cross-class unity in the national struggle, and on occasion being used to break strikes.


The problem of terrorism isn’t new. Terrorism is changing world relations:

neighbours become enemies and enemies become friends, united by the common interests. It has turned into a true multi-dimensional monster that has incorporated a variety of unlawful actions.

The conflict in the country has originally started as a religious one but years passing by it penetrated in all spheres of life. Mainly it became an ethno-political conflict. But the means, unfortunately, stayed the same: disturbances, fights and murders.

While studying this problem I have faced such a fact that there is no objective opinion about the conflict in Northern Ireland. Reporters and even researchers can’t give real appraisement of the situation. Some of them support the British side and others - the Irish one. As it was said, there are two trends to follow: unionistic and separatistic. Those, supporting the British want Northern Ireland to stay as a part of the UK. They say that under the power of British crown Northern Ireland achieved its economic and social prime. The others want the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland to become a single independent country. These two countries form a unity geographically and historically, that’s why their desire to unite them again is quite natural. If only the way of doing it weren’t so cruel.

Nowadays it must be not the fight for the people’s rights but a senseless savage struggle for somebody’s ideas. The majority of people who had been asked about their attitude towards the actions of Irish and British authorities gave a negative evaluation. They want to live in a peaceful country and not to be afraid. The goals accomplished in such a way can’t do any good.

To arrive at a compromise with terrorists is practically impossible or it stays for a very short time. Peaceful initiatives proposed by the government and the cut of all weapon deliveries for terrorist from Asian countries can make the situation at least a bit better. But the main problem is that terrorists won’t give up violation for negotiation. The government must give people the right for self-determination. Only in this case, when the problem is solved in a civilized way, people will follow the right way – the way of creation but not destruction.

The list of references.

  1. Афанасьев Г.Е. История Ирландии / Г.Е. Афанасьев. – С.-Петербург: 1907. – 312 с.

  2. Быкова А. Ф. История Англии с XI в. до начала мировой войны / А.Ф. Быкова. – С.-Петербург: 1918. – 323 с.

  3. Гольман Л.И. История Ирландии / Л. И. Гольман, А.Д. Колпаков, В.Э. Кунина, Ю.М. Сапрыкин; под.ред. Л.И. Гольман – Москва: Мысль, 1980. – 390 с.

  4. Полякова Е. Ю. Северная Ирландия: национальный аспект конфликта / Е.Ю. Полякова // Британия и Россия. – Москва: 1997.

  5. http://www.ucc.ie/celt/publishd.html

  6. http://www.fema.gov/hazard/terrorism/index.shtm

  7. http://www.telegraph.co.uk

  8. http://en.wikipedia.org

  9. http://varyag-stunts.narod.ru

  10. http://www.youtube.com

  11. http://en.wikipedia.org

  12. http://varyag-stunts.narod.ru

  13. http://www.youtube.com


Chronology of the Irish terroristic acts

24-29 April 1916

Easter Rising, Dublin

This is led by Patrick Pearse, who proclaims the "Irish Republic."


War of Independence & Partition

Following the Anglo-Irish War (War of Independence) the Government of Ireland

Act creates partition. Twenty-six southern counties become the Irish Free State and six northeastern counties--Northern Ireland--remain part of Britain.

12 August 1969

Battle of the Bogside (Derry)

The Orange Apprentice Boys of Londonderry hold a parade. Rioting breaks out and 1,000 police arrive to contain the crowd. Bogside marks a pivitol point where the troubles in Ireland move away from civil rights issues and toward religious and national identities. A few days later, the British Army arrives to maintain order.

28 December 1969

Birth of Provisionals

The IRA Provisonal Army Council issues a statement which signals the split between the IRA. The Provisionals emerge.

9 August 1971


Internment is implemented--meaning a person can be locked up without a trial.

This move by the British government produces violence and political unrest.

30 January 1972

Bloody Sunday (Derry)

During a civil rights march in Derry involving thousands of people, British paratroopers shoot dead thirteen civilians.

24 March 1972

Direct Rule

As a result of Bloody Sunday, Her Majesty's Government abolishes Stormont Parliament and introduces Direct Rule from Westminster, "until a political solution to the problems of the province can be worked out."

21 July 1972

Bloody Friday

The IRA sets off 26 bombs in Belfast killing nine people and injuring 130.

15 May 1974

Sinn Fein legalized

The Northern Ireland (Emergency Provision) Act of 1973 is amended making the Ulster Volunteer Force and Sinn Fein legal organizations.



A truce is reached through secret negiotiations between the Provisional IRA and the British security forces. IRA members believe British withdrawal from Northern Ireland will follow soon.

5 December 1975

Internment ends

The British government ends internment, declaring those who are guilty of crimes will be charged,arrested, and tried with a jury. During the period of internment nearly 2,000 people were detained without a proper trial.

1 March 1976


The British begin phasing out Special Category status. After this date, all prisoners convicted of terrorist acts are to be treated as ordinary criminals and locked in H-Block.

15 September 1976

Blanket Men (Maze Prison)

Kieran Nugent,Provisional IRA member is the first prisoner convicted and not given Special Category status. He refuses to wear a uniform and wears a blanket to differentiate himself from the Ordinary Decent Criminals (OCDs). This became known as the "Blanket Protest.

2 August 1978

Dirty Protest (Maze Prison)

Cardinal O'Fiaich visits Maze Prison and protests the unsanitary conditions. Three hundred Republican prisoners refuse to wear prison clothes and demand Special Category status. Protesters wear only blankets and smear the walls in their cells with excreta.

27 August 1979

Mountbatten Assassination

Lord Mountbatten, uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, is murdered along with three others when his boat is blown up by an IRA bomb at Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo.

27 October 1980

First Hunger Strike

Tommy McKearney and six other IRA members start the first prison hunger strike demanding the right to wear their own clothes.

1 March 1981

Second Hunger Strike led by Bobby Sands

Bobby Sands begins a new hunger strike on the fifth anniversary of the ending of

Special Category status.

9 April 1981

Sands elected MP

Forty days into his hunger strike,Sands wins the seat for Fermanagh-South Tyrone.

5 May 1981

Bobby Sands dies on 66th day of hunger strike

His death causes rioting in Northern Ireland and in the Republic 100,000 attend his funeral. The next day,provisional IRA prisoner, Joe McDonnell starts a hunger strike to take the place of Sands. Another nine IRA members fast to death.

15 November 1985

Anglo-Irish Agreement

This agreement is signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.It establishes an Inter-Governmental Conference to deal

with political matters, security, and legal matters and the promotion of

cross-border cooperation.

8 May 1987

Deaclan Arthurs, Padraig McKearney and six other IRA members of E. Tyrone Brigade are killed. They are gunned down during an attack by the Special Air Services (SAS) while bombing Loughhall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station.

1 November 1987

Eksund--Libyan arms

A huge consignment of Libyan arms and ammunition, including surface-to-air missiles, are discovered on board the Eksund. It's later reported that the IRA had already received three other arms shipments from Libya.

6 March 1988


Sean Savage, Daniel McCann and Mairead Farrell, unarmed, are gunned down, by SAS. They were active IRA members. Controversy surrounds their deaths because SAS had followed them and allegedly gave no warning before the shootings. SAS claim they feared the three were about to detonate a bomb.

16 March 1988

Milltown cemetery in Belfast

Three mourners are killed by Loyalist gunman Michael Stone during the burial of the three IRA members killed in Gibraltar.

19 March 1988

Two British soldiers are killed

These two soldiers accidentally drive into the funeral procession of Kevin Brady in Andersonstown (he was one of the three IRA victims killed by the Milltown gunman two days earlier.) TV cameras record how the soldiers are dragged from their car, beaten by the crowd, and then shot dead by IRA. The footage is shown around the world.

11 January 1988

SDLP and Sinn Fein Talks

Social Democratic Labor Party leader John Hume and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams begin discussions for an all-Ireland settlement.

7 February 1991

IRA mortars

The IRA fires a mortar bomb 15 yards from a room where Prime Minister John Major is meeting with his cabinet. No one is injured.

17 January 1992

Teebane Crossroads

Seven Protestant constructions workers at a security base in Co. Tyrone are killed by an IRA bomb. The driver of their bus also dies.

24 April 1993

Bishopsgate bomb

An IRA bomb containing one ton of fertilizer explosives goes off at the NatWest Tower in London. One is killed and 30 are injured. Damages amount to $1 billion.

23 October 1993

Shankhill bomb

IRA detonates a bomb in a Belfast fish shop. Ten people die including one of the bombers; 57 are injured.

15 December 1993

Downing Street Declaration

John Major and Albert Reynolds issue a Joint Declaration on Northern Ireland which says "the ending of divisions can come about only through the agreement and cooperation of the people, North and South, representing both traditions in Ireland."

February 1994

Gerry Adams granted U.S. visa

Sinn Fein leader Adams is finally granted visa to enter the U.S. after being turned down eight times by the Reagan and Bush administrations. President Clinton says he hopes Adams' visit would help the peace process.

31 August 1994

IRA cessation

The IRA announces that there will be a cessation of military operations in an effort to help the democratic peace process.

February 1996

Canary Wharf bomb

The IRA announces the ceasefire will end. Scotland Yard receives warnings that a bomb is planted in the Canary Wharf area. At 7:01 PM a bomb explodes there killing two and injuring over a 100.

15 September 1997

All Party Peace Talks begin

Another IRA ceasefire is established and, for the first time since Ireland was divided in 1922, the Irish Free State, Ulster (British Province) and Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, sit down to formal negotiations.

13 October 1997

British Prime Minister Tony Blair meets with a Sinn Fein delegation and shakes hands with Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams in East Belfast. Northern Ireland's Protestant majority are outraged, citing the IRA's history of violence and continued unwillingness to lay down their weapons.

5 December 1997

A Catholic man is killed outside of Belfast. It's the first killing since the IRA cease-fire in July. The Loyalist Volunteer Force is suspected.

11 January 1998

On the eve of the peace talks resuming, Terry Enwright, a Roman Catholic doorman at a Belfast night club and nephew of Gerry Adams, is killed. The Loyalist Volunteer Force takes credit.

26 January 1998

After more killings occur totaling seven Catholics and two Protestants, the Ulster Democratic Party leaves the peace talks rather than be expelled when the Ulster Freedom Fighters admit to some of the murders.

29 January 1998

Prime Minister Tony Blair announces a new judicial inquiry into the 1972 "Bloody Sunday" killings in Northern Ireland.

20 February 1998

The Irish and British Governments temporarily expel Sinn Fein from the peace talks for two killings earlier in the month which are linked to the IRA.

10 April 1998

The Good Friday Agreement

After months of peace talks, murders and violence, the Northern Ireland Peace Talks produce a settlement called The Good Friday Agreement.

23 May 1998

A referendum on the historic Good Friday Agreement is voted on in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. It passes by 71 percent to 29 percent in Northern Ireland and in the Irish Republic 94 percent approve the compromise agreement.

15 August 1998

Omagh Bombing

29 people are killed and over 200 wounded when a bomb explodes in Omagh. It is Northern Ireland's most deadly paramilitary attack. The blast is blamed on the Real IRA, a splinter group from the IRA.

September 1998

David Trimble, Northern Ireland's First Minister, says Sinn Fein should not be seated in Northern Ireland's new Assembly because the IRA has not disarmed. Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, Martin McGuiness, says Sinn Fein must be part of the executive in Northern Ireland before the IRA hands over their weapons.

16 October 1998

David Trimble and John Hume win the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

18 December 1998

First steps in decommissioning terrorist weapons are taken with the handing over of a cache of weapons by the Loyalist Volunteer Force.

2 April 1999

On the first anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, there is still no deal between the opposing sides. The main issue remains the decommissioning of the IRA's weapons.

July 1999

Significant setbacks occur this month for implementing the peace agreement. The main Protestant politicians, the Ulster Unionists, announce they won't share power with Sinn Fein in a Protestant-Catholic coalition Cabinet, as envisioned in the peace accord, so long as the IRA refuses to begin disarming. And Sinn Fein rules out IRA disarmament by May 2000 which is the deadline set by the peace accords for the IRA and pro-British Protestant paramilitary groups to surrender all weapons.


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