Provisional Irish Republican Army Campaign 1969–1997

Provisional Irish Republican Army Campaign 1969–1997


  • Battle of the Bogside
  • August 1969 riots
  • Battle of St Matthew's
  • Falls Curfew
  • Scottish soldiers' killings
  • Operation Demetrius
  • Ballymurphy massacre
  • McGurk's bombing
  • Balmoral Furniture Co. bombing
  • Bloody Sunday
  • Abercorn bombing
  • Donegall St bombing
  • Battle at Springmartin
  • Springhill massacre
  • Bloody Friday
  • Operation Motorman
  • Claudy bombing
  • Benny's Bar bombing
  • Dublin bombings
  • Coleraine bombings
  • UWC strike
  • Dublin & Monaghan bombings
  • Miami Showband killings
  • Bayardo Bar
  • Drummuckavall ambush
  • Reavey & O'Dowd killings
  • Kingsmill massacre
  • Flagstaff incident
  • Chlorane Bar
  • Ramble Inn
  • Jonesborough Gazelle downing
  • La Mon bombing
  • Warrenpoint ambush
  • Dunmurry explosion
  • Nellie M
  • 1981 Hungerstrike
  • Glasdrumman ambush
  • St Bedan
  • Ballykelly bombing
  • Maze Prison escape
  • Newry barracks
  • Ballygawley barracks
  • Loughgall ambush
  • Enniskillen bombing
  • Milltown Cemetery
  • Corporals killings
  • Lisburn van bomb
  • Ballygawley bus bomb
  • 1989 Jonesborough ambush
  • Derryard checkpoint
  • Derrygorry Gazelle shootdown
  • Operation Conservation
  • RFA Fort Victoria
  • 1990 proxy bombs
  • 1991 Cappagh killings
  • Glenanne barracks
  • Coagh ambush
  • Teebane bombing
  • Bookmakers' shooting
  • Clonoe ambush
  • Cloghoge checkpoint
  • Coalisland riots
  • South Armagh sniper campaign
  • 1993 Castlerock killings
  • Cullaville occupation
  • 1993 Shankill bombing
  • Greysteel massacre
  • Crossmaglen Lynx shootdown
  • Loughinisland massacre
  • Drumcree conflict
  • Thiepval barracks
  • 1997 Coalisland attack
  • July 1997 riots
  • Omagh bombing

Great Britain

  • Aldershot bombing
  • M62 coach bombing
  • Guildford bombings
  • Birmingham bombings
  • Marylebone siege
  • Hyde & Regent's Park bombings
  • Harrods bombing
  • Brighton bombing
  • Deal barracks
  • Downing St attack
  • Warrington bombings
  • Bishopsgate bombing
  • Docklands bombing
  • Manchester bombing


  • Gibraltar 1988
  • Osnabrück barracks 1996

From 1969 until 1997, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) conducted an armed paramilitary campaign in Northern Ireland and England, aimed at ending British rule in Northern Ireland in order to create a united Ireland.

The Provisional IRA emerged from a split in the Irish Republican Army in 1969, partly as a result of that organisation's perceived failure to defend Catholic neighbourhoods from attack in the 1969 Northern Ireland riots. The Provisionals gained credibility from their efforts to physically defend such areas in 1970 and 1971. From 1971–72, the IRA took to the offensive and conducted a relatively high intensity campaign against the British and Northern Ireland security forces and the infrastructure of the state. The British Army characterised this period as the 'insurgency phase' of the IRA's campaign.

The IRA declared a brief ceasefire in 1972 and a more protracted one in 1975, when there was an internal debate over the feasibility of future operations. The armed group reorganised itself in the late 1970s into a smaller, cell-based structure, which was designed to be harder to penetrate. The IRA now tried to carry out a smaller scale but more sustained campaign which they characterised as the 'Long War', with the eventual aim of weakening the British government's resolve to remain in Ireland. The British Army called this the 'terrorist phase' of the IRA's campaign. The IRA made some attempts in the 1980s to escalate the conflict with the aid of weapons imported from Libya. In the 1990s they also began a campaign of bombing economic targets in London and other cities in England.

On 31 August 1994, the IRA called a unilateral ceasefire with the aim of having their associated political party, Sinn Féin, admitted into the Northern Ireland peace process. The organisation ended its ceasefire in February 1996 but declared another in July 1997. The IRA accepted the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 as a negotiated end to the Northern Ireland conflict.

In 2005 the organisation declared a formal end to its campaign and had its weaponry decommissioned under international supervision.

Other aspects of the Provisional IRA's campaign are covered in the following articles:

  • For a chronology, see Chronology of Provisional IRA actions
  • For the Provisional IRA's armament, see Provisional IRA arms importation
  • For the Provisional IRA's political strategy, see Provisional IRA strategy.

Read more about Provisional Irish Republican Army Campaign 1969–1997:  Beginnings, Early Campaign 1970–1972, Ceasefires – 1972 and 1975, Sectarian Attacks, Attacks Outside Northern Ireland, Libyan Arms, Incidents With British Special Forces, Loyalists and The IRA – Killing and Reprisals, Casualties, British Army Assessment, Other Activities

Other articles related to "provisional":

Provisional Irish Republican Army Campaign 1969–1997 - Other Activities - Robberies and Criminal Enterprise
... The Provisional IRA has carried out numerous bank and post office robberies across Ireland throughout its existence ... An RUC estimate from 1982–83, puts the amount stolen in such raids by the Provisional IRA at around £700,000 (sterling) ... Also in the 1980s, the Provisional IRA were involved in the kidnapping and ransom of businessmen Gaelen Weston, Ben Dunne and Don Tidey ...

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    What is called common sense is excellent in its department, and as invaluable as the virtue of conformity in the army and navy,—for there must be subordination,—but uncommon sense, that sense which is common only to the wisest, is as much more excellent as it is more rare.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.
    Mario Cuomo (b. 1932)

    [The Republican Party] consists of those who, believing in the doctrine that mankind are capable of governing themselves and hating hereditary power as an insult to the reason and an outrage to the rights of men, are naturally offended at every public measure that does not appeal to the understanding and to the general interest of the community.
    James Madison (1751–1836)

    The difference of the English and Irish character is nowhere more plainly discerned than in their respective kitchens. With the former, this apartment is probably the cleanest, and certainly the most orderly, in the house.... An Irish kitchen ... is usually a temple dedicated to the goddess of disorder; and, too often, joined with her, is the potent deity of dirt.
    Anthony Trollope (1815–1882)