Irish Republican Army (IRA), Irish underground paramilitary organisation
founded to promote Irish nationalism and fight British tyrannical
rule in Ireland. It is also known as the Provisional IRA, PIRA,
the Provos, Irish Volunteers and, in Irish, as Óglaigh na hÉireann.
The IRA has never been used as the official name of the organisation
- they still use the name Óglaigh na hÉireann as their
official name (as does the Irish Defence Forces which grew out of
the split at the start of the civil war) - indeed the adoption of
the name Irish Republican Army was actually turned down by the organisation
during the war of independence.