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The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was founded early in 1921 and the name had been in use since then up to 1969 through 1969 when it split into various groups namely the Official IRA (OIRA), Provisional IRA (PIRA), Real IRA (RIRA) and Continuity IRA (CIRA). The organization was basically formed with an intention of carrying out assassinations, bombings as well as other terrorist techniques in order to oppose the British dominion over Ireland. However, the group was not entirely a terrorist group but carried out most of its activities using terrorism tactics. As such, the association of the IRA with terrorism has its origin from the paramilitary activities that are no longer in existence. This document presents the various attacks by the group, their strategic objectives and how they fit into the general strategy of the group.

Major attacks of the group

Some of the major attacks by the group include the Bloody Friday of 1972 that refers to the bombings conducted by the PIRA on 21 July 1972. In this attack, 22 bombs exploded in a period of 88 minutes leaving nine people dead who among them were two British soldiers and a huge number of not less than 130 people left badly injured (Adams, 2003). The strategic objective of the bombing was a part of the intensive bombing campaign that was carried out by the IRA in revolt against the military, political and economic targets in Northern Ireland. The attack carried out a sum total of 1,300 bombings in the same year due to the failure of covert talks with the British government earlier in London.

The other major attack was the assassination of Lord Louis Mountbatten, Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin on August 27, 1979 after the blast of a 50-pound bomb that was hidden in his fishing canoe. The blast left him, and three other people dead including his 14-year-old grandson. Mountbatten was spending a day off with his family when the accident happened. On the same day, another bombing by the IRA on the land killed 18 people, all of whom were British paratroopers in County Down, North of Ireland. The objective of IRA in assassinating Lord Louis Mountbatten was to draw attention on what was happening in Ireland. This assassination was the biggest blow on the royal family since the terrorist campaigns by the IRA to drive the British off Northern Ireland and join with Southern Ireland commenced (Shanahan, 2009).

During the time of his assassination, Lord Louis Mountbatten was the lord lieutenant of the Isle of Wight in England. His position may not have had a great impact on the decision made by British government to deploy military troops in Ireland. The fighting that was going on in the region between rival groups did not pose a good political climate to allow a visit by the late Lord Mountbatten. Therefore, his visit to Ireland at such a time provided the best opportunity for IRA terrorists to attack (Shanahan, 2009). However, the death of Lord Mountbatten marked the end of brutal fighting and gave way for diplomatic negotiations. His death is thus found to mark the beginning of a long-term peace process.

The third major attack was the 1998 Omagh bombing in the Northern Ireland that left about 29 people dead and more than 100 others maimed (Sanchez, 2007). Though the police had been notified of the disaster like 40 minutes earlier, the description of the area was unclear making people be evacuated from the wrong area and being directed to hazardous zones. Unlike most of the other attacks, this was more severe to the extent that it aggravated threats by the Irish government saying that the Irish paramilitary groups must pronounce a cease-fire.

Other minor attacks

Other from the major attacks, there other minor attacks that were conducted by the IRA including the various bombing that have been witnessed, or through torture. Bone of the attacks includes the 1887 Aldergate bombing of a Metropolitan Railway train. The aftermath was that 60 people were terribly injured with ten of them being in nauseating critical condition. Others are the 1939 attacks at Tottentham court road, 1973 IRA attacks in Baker Street Station, 1976 IRA attacks at Oxford Circus Station, 1991 IRA attacks at Hammersmith tube station and the 1992 attacks at Elephant & Castle station and Neasden station (Drake, 1998).

Overall strategy of the group

The main objectives of IRA were creating a unified Ireland that would be ruled by the Irish rather than the British. For this reason, the PIRA employed terrorist tactics to rebel against the Unionists in the Northern Ireland. The objectives were achieved through the application of the strategic objective such as Attrition and Provocation (Drake, 1998). In attrition, the Ira eroded the psychological targets by attacking the physical targets which the Brits had some value on. The PIRA’s campaign of attacking the British Army and political as well as the civil targets in the Northern Ireland is a perfect example for this.

In provocation, the group carries out attacks with the intention of making the psychological target react in way that will isolate people who were previously uncommitted or unsympathetic towards them as well as those who commiserate with them. The example of this strategy was seen in Northern Ireland in 1992 when British soldiers had battered civilians in Coal Island. Similarly, the IRA did the same in protecting its people. The attacks can generally be said to fit in the overall strategy of objectives because they met the preset objectives of destroying the British.

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