An Analysis on the IRA's Mandate and European Security

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  • Topic: Northern Ireland, Ireland, Sinn Féin
  • Pages : 6 (2698 words )
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  • Published : April 12, 2011
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On the IRA’s mandate and European security.
The connotation of the phrase “the luck of the Irish” is entirely backwards. The luck of the Irish, historically, has been plagued with famine, oppression, violence, death, poverty and general suffering. Even as recently as the late 1990s the Irish were subjected to the brutal bombing, shooting, and unrest of their own people in the Irish Republican Army’s attempts at unifying the island into a single state rather than the Republic Of Ireland and Northern Ireland (controlled still by Great Britain) as it remains to this day. What did the Irish have to put up with and how did this affect the way such terrorism was seen and dealt with in Europe and the world as a result? The Irish Republican Army is a paramilitary force created in the year 1922 with the general intent to abolish British rule over Northern Ireland, and as a result establish the unification of the entire Emerald Isle as one republic, without London’s imposed borders separating them from their northern countrymen there-in. The IRA began with similar intentions to an existing group, the Sinn Fein (a group created in Ireland in 1905 with the purpose of preserving Irish culture and as such re-uniting the country as well, but the two organizations operated separately originally. Contemporarily the Sinn Fein operates as a political group in Ireland which does reflect the gist of what the IRA stands for, without itself committing acts of violence) (1). While noble in theory, the IRA’s cause was fundamentally flawed in that the majority of Irish folk in Northern Ireland actually were fine with being a part of the United Kingdom, and still are to this day. Although as of now there is a 55% overall vote (keep in mind that Northern Ireland does not have a terribly large population for such a vote, as it consists only six counties on the island) for a United Ireland by 2016 (2), throughout the 20th century all of the bloodshed and terrorism conducted by the IRA on behalf of this agenda was in vain. It was argued by Irish Nationalists that Great Britain should “give Ireland back to the Irish,” though in this mentality being “Irish” meant having a Celtic family that dated back to before Britain’s colonization of the island, which is then to say that the majority of Northern Irishmen, who are of Scottish and English descent (brought over post-colonization to populate the area on behalf of the Britons) in Northern Ireland are then to not be considered Irish at all? Furthermore if a Chinese family immigrates to Ireland and has children, are they not Irish then too? These Irish Nationalists argue about preserving their culture while forgetting that any modern nation is essentially a melting pot for all those who live there, regardless of how long their clan has lived in the country. “Giving Ireland back to the Irish” is therefore a fundamentally flawed statement. To do so would in fact alienate the heritage of said Northern Irish people, as their culture (while not necessarily then being “Irish”) would nonetheless be infringed upon and ousted. Those “old Irish” in the south had something to complain about, and they were indeed emancipated from Britain’s rule as a result, but those in the North have ties to the United Kingdom and most of them continue to like it that way. In a blatantly ironic twist of fate, the Irish Nationalists had become quite similar to the mother country they loathed so much in that they were trying to expand their influence into a region that didn’t necessarily want it in the first place. The IRA swiftly became less of a freedom-fighter organization and more of a terrorist group. Not only bombing civilians (including women and children) in Ireland, but the IRA also terrorized England itself on several occasions. Some IRA members have pointed out that they would often give civilians enough time to escape before the explosions, but that only happened if the bomb was found in time and is a shoddy excuse at best....
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