Irish Republican Army
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[ Provisional IRA ]

In the late 1960s Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland began a forceful campaign for improved economic and political status. Support for the IRA grew, and clashes between the IRA and Protestant activists and the British army escalated. Disagreement in 1969 over use of fight tactics led to a split into two groups: a radical group, the Provisional IRA, which carried out assassinations; and the original group, the Official IRA, which declined in importance. 

The Provisionals took their name from the declaration made during the April 24, 1916, Easter Rising in Dublin when the insurrectionists proclaimed a provisional government.  

Militants from the Belfast and Derry ghettos rather than the people from the south of Ireland became the driving force in the Provisional IRA. This marked a turning point for Irish Republicanism and signified the failure of the old IRA to defend the nationalist communities in the North.

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