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Abstracts on Organisations - 'I'

[Key_Events] [Key_Issues] [CONFLICT_BACKGROUND]
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Compiled: Martin Melaugh ... Additional Material: Brendan Lynn and Fionnuala McKenna
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

initial letter of the name of the organisation

Independent Commission for Police Complaints (ICPC)
This body was enacted under the Police (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 in order to oversee the internal investigation process by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) of complaints against any individual police officer. The ICPC however had limited powers in terms of its ability to conduct its own investigations or to impose any form of penalties. In the wake of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) a review of policing and police procedures was conducted. This led to the replacement of the IICD by the office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI) under the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998.

Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains
The commission was created under legislation enacted (26 May 1999) in the British and Irish parliaments to supervise the recovery of the remains of the 'disappeared'. The 'disappeared' were those people who were abducted, killed, and secretly buried by (mainly) the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). When first established Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and Mr John Wilson were appointed as Commissioners. On 6 March 2006 it was announced that Mr Frank Murray had taken over from Mr Wilson who had retired.
[Web Site]

Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland
A group established on 3 June 1998 by the British government under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. The main function of the Commission was to review the future role of policing in Northern Ireland and to make recommendations. The membership of the Commission was chosen by the British government and the preferred nominations of the Irish government were rejected. The Commission was chaired by Chris Patton a former Northern Ireland minister and seven other members were named in a press release.

Independent Consultative Group on the Past
See: Consultative Group on the Past

Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD)
A group established on 26 August 1997 as part of the Peace Process to oversee the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. The Commission was set up by the British and Irish governments with its terms of reference being set out in a joint Agreement. The IICD was initially comprised of Tauno Nieminen, John de Chastelain, and Andrew D. Sens.
List of IICD reports

Independent Labour Party (ILP)
[political party]

Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC)
This body was established in September 2003 by the British and Irish governments to report on the carrying out of commitments made in the Good Friday Agreement in regard to paramilitary activity, security normalisation, and participation in the political institutions. When first established the IMC was comprised of four members who were: John Grieve, former Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and Lord Alderdice, formerly Presiding Officer of the Northern Ireland Assembly, both nominated by the British Government; Mr Joseph Brosnan, formerly the Secretary of the Irish Department of Justice, nominated by the Irish Government; and Mr Richard (Dick) Kerr, formerly the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in the United States, nominated by the US Administration. The first report of the IMC, which looked at the continuing activities of paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland, was published on 20 April 2004.
List of IMC reports
[Web Site no longer available]

Independent Orange Order (IOO)
The Independent Orange Order (IOO) is one of the Loyal Orders. It was formally constituted in June 1903. The IOO grew out of protests by some members of the Orange Order that their leaders in the official Unionists and the Orange Order did not represent the interests of working-class Protestants. The organisation began with quite a small number, but grew fairly quickly. By 1905, there were 71 lodges in Ireland and, with the exception of one in Dublin, they were confined to East Ulster. The Independent Orange Order today has grown considerably, but is still relatively small compared to the Loyal Orange Institution. It still holds its own 12th July celebrations, and these are frequently addressed by Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Independent Progressive Socialist (IPS)
[political party]

Independent Reviewer Justice and Security (NI) Act 2007
On 22 May 2008 the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward MP, appointed an Independent Reviewer of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007. The terms of reference of the post included, "to review the operation of sections 21 to 32 of the Act and those who use or are affected by those sections". This covered the powers of the police and the British Army to: stop and question; arrest; enter property; carry out searches; examine documents; close roads; etc. The Independent Reviewer produces an annual report for the secretary of state. The first Independent reviewer was Robert Whalley, the second was David Seymour, and the third (appointed 1 Feb 2021) was Professor Marie Breen-Smyth.
Copies of IR reports.

Independent Television (ITV)
The second main broadcasting authority in the United Kingdom. ITV began broadcasting in 19?? after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had already been formed. Unlike the BBC which raises it funds from a licence fee, ITV finances its broadcasting from revenue raised through advertisements. In addition to reporting the news from Northern Ireland ITV has also been producing current affairs programmes and documentaries about the conflict in the region. Ulster Television (UTV) is the regional broadcasting authority in Northern Ireland.
(See also: Independent Television News.)
[Web Site]

Independent Television News (ITN)
The news gathering section of Independent Television (ITV).
(See also: Independent Television.)
[Web Site]

Independent Unionist Group (IUG)
A political grouping established in Belfast in 1978. One of the founding members was Hugh Smyth. In 1979 the group became the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP).
(See also: Progressive Unionist Party.)

Industrial Development Board (IDB)
An organisation set up in 19?? by the British Government which has the task of encouraging inward investment in Northern Ireland. The IDB can offer grants and other financial assistance to firms to entice them to establish all or part of their operation in the region.

Institute for Conflict Research (ICR)
The Institute for Conflict Research (ICR) was formally established in June 2001, although it had previously operated under the names of Community Conflict Impact on Children (CCIC) (1999-2001), The Cost of the Troubles Study (COTTS) (1996-99), and Templegrove Action Research Limited (1994-96). The ICR ceased to operate on 31 March 2020. The ICR had worked in partnership with a diverse range of community, voluntary, academic, and statutory bodies both in Northern Ireland and internationally.
List of ICR reports
[Web Site]

Inter-Church Emergency Fund for Ireland (ICEFI)
An initiative established in 1974 by the Conference of European Churches with the aim of distributing funds given by European Churches for peace and reconciliation work in Ireland.

Inter-Church Group on Faith and Politics (ICGFP)
A group set up in 1983 to reflect on the demands the Christian faith makes on the politics of Northern Ireland. The group has published a number of pamphlets and books.

A group established in November 1990 to try to improve community relations in Lurgan, County Armagh, and surrounding districts following a number of sectarian killings in the area.

Intergovernmental Conference (IGC)
synonyms: Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC)
(See: Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.)

International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE)
Established in 1993, INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute) is a joint project of Ulster University and the United Nations University. Combining research, education and comparative analysis, INCORE addresses the causes and consequences of conflict in Northern Ireland and internationally and promotes conflict resolution management strategies. It aims to influence policymakers and practitioners involved in peace, conflict and reconciliation issues while enhancing the nature of international conflict research. INCORE had its headquarters in Aberfoyle House on the Magee Campus of Ulster University from 1995 to September 2016, before moving to the main building on Magee campus.
[Web Site]

International Fund for Ireland (IFI)
The International Fund for Ireland was established in the wake of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The fund was designed to support economic developments in Northern Ireland and the border counties in the Republic of Ireland. The money for the fund was donated by the United States of America (which has given the bulk of the money), Canada, New Zealand and, since 1988, the European Community Commission. The IFI is managed by a board who produce annual reports of the way in which money is spent. While the fund was welcomed by Nationalists it was initially criticised by Unionists as an attempt to bribe them into accepting the AIA. Since then a number of Unionists and Unionist groups have accepted funding from the IFI.
[Old Web Site:]

International Voluntary Service Northern Ireland (IVS-NI)
IVS is the Northern Ireland branch of Service Civil International and was set up in 1971 to provide opportunities for voluntary work that aims to help establish a society based on justice.

Irish-American Unity Conference (IAUC)
The Irish-American Unity Conference (IAUC) is an Irish-American group which has provided funds for job-creation projects in deprived Nationalist areas. On a number of occasions the group has criticised British policy in Ireland.

Irish Association (IA) for Cultural, Economic and Social Relations
The association was originally founded in 1938 to promote communication and understanding between Nationalist and Unionist, and between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Since the onset of the present 'Troubles' the organisation has increased its programme of activities. The group brings together people from different religious and political backgrounds. It arranges seminars by politicians, academics and community leaders. Professor Paul Bew, Queen's University of Belfast, was a President of the association.
See also: List of publications
[Web Site]

Irish Commission for Justice and Peace (ICJP)
A permanent secretariat of the Catholic Irish Bishop's Conference that was set up in 1970 to consider issues concerned with Peace, Human Rights, Development and Justice. The ICJP played a mediation role during the hunger strike at the Maze Prison in 1981.

Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
Congress is the single umbrella organisation for trade unions in Ireland representing a wide range of interests of almost 750,000 working people, both in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. In 2001 there were 64 unions affiliated to Congress, 48 unions with 543,882 members in the Republic of Ireland and 36 unions with 215,478 members in Northern Ireland. In 2001 women members accounted for 44 per cent of the total membership.

Selection of Publications
Northern Ireland Committee of the ICTU. (1969) Programme for Peace and Progress in Northern Ireland, (August 1969). Belfast: ICTU.

[Web Site]

Irish Continuity Army Council (ICAC)
synonyms: Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA), Continuity Army Council (CAC)
(See: Continuity Irish Republican Army.)

Irish Independence Party (IIP)
A Nationalist political party which was launched in 1977. The founding members of the IIP were Frank McManus and Fergus McAteer. The party advocated British withdrawal from Northern Ireland. The IIP initially sought agreement between Nationalist parties on candidates to fight Westminster elections. The party entered candidates in the 1979 Westminster election and the 1981 council election. Support for the party declined when Sinn Féin began to contest elections in the 1980s and the IIP then became defunct.

Irish Labour Party (ILP)
One of the main political parties in the Republic of Ireland. The party was founded in 1912. The party doubled the number of Teachta Dalá (TDs - members of Dáil Éiraeann) it had in the Dáil as a result of the November 1992 general election. The party has been in a number of coalition governments the most recent examples being between 1993-1994 and 1994-1997. The Labour Party is currently led by Pat Rabitte. As Minister for Foreign Affairs Dick Spring had a key role in Northern Ireland policy. The party also jointly nominated Mary Robinson in the 1990 presidential election. During 1999 The Irish Labour Party merged with Democratic Left and the joint party became The Labour Party.
[Main Entry]
[Web Site]

Irish National Caucus (INC)
The INC was founded on 6 February 1974 by the current President, Seán McManus. The INC describes itself as a "human rights organisation dedicated to getting the United States to stand up for justice and peace in Ireland" (introduction to web site). It acts as an umbrella group which represents most of the Irish-American groups in the United States. In addition to political groups it also represents such organisations as the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and the American Ancient Order of Hibernians (AAOH). In 1978 the INC sent an inquiry team to Northern Ireland and later recommended that a 'peace forum' should be held on Northern Ireland in Washington, America. The INC has been active in campaigning for American companies operating in Northern Ireland to adopt the 'MacBride Principles' in an effort to improve the representation of Catholics in the region's workforce.
[Web Site]

Irish National Congress (INC)
The Irish National Congress was formed in January 1990. Initially it was involved in sponsoring and organising events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. The INC states that: "The present priority for the INC is organising a major national campaign to amend the constitution to give representation to northern nationalists in the Oireachtas. On a broader level the INC is seeking to bring the widest possible number of people together on a non-party political non-sectarian basis to work for a united Ireland, peace and human rights by peaceful means."
[Web Site]

Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
synonyms: People's Liberation Army (PLA); People's Republican Army (PRA); Catholic Reaction Force (CRF)

A Republican paramilitary group which was established in 1975. This group initially used the name People's Liberation Army (PLA) before adopting the name Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). The INLA has also used a number of covernames including: People's Republican Army (PRA) and Catholic Reaction Force (CRF). At the time it was formed the INLA was considered to be the military wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP). The aim of the INLA, and the IRSP, is the re-unification of Ireland and the creation of a revolutionary socialist republic. Many of the initial recruits for the INLA were believed to have come from the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) which had called a ceasefire in 1972. Much of the support came from the Markets and Lower Falls areas of Belfast and from parts of County Derry.

The INLA achieved world attention when it claimed responsibility for the bomb which killed Airey Neave within the grounds of the Palace of Westminster. Members of the INLA have been involved in a number of feuds when splinter groups developed and numerous previous members have died at the hands of former associates. During the ceasefires that began in 1994 the INLA did not declare a ceasefire, instead it adopted a policy of 'no-first-strike'. On 27 December 1997 members of the INLA shot and killed Billy Wright, then leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), inside the Maze Prison. In the following weeks 10 Catholic civilians were shot dead by the LVF and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) in retaliation for Wright's killing.

The INLA has always been a much smaller, and less active, paramilitary group than the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The INLA has killed approximately 125 people during the conflict of whom 45 were members of the security forces. The INLA has had approximately 20 (??) members killed. The INLA called a ceasefire on 22 August 1998 but refused to engage in any of decommissioning under the auspices of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). On 8 August 1999 The Sunday Times reported that the INLA had declared that the "war is over" but stated that it would not decommission its weapons. Despite these statements the INLA continued to be involved in violence.

On Sunday 11 October 2009 the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM) published a statment said to have been issued by the INLA. The statement said that its "armed stuggle is over" and the INLA would pursue its objectives by "exclusively peaceful political stuggle". There were also media reports that the INLA had begun talks on decommissioning of its weapons. This proved to be the case when the leadership of the INLA released a statement, on 8 February 2010, on the issue of weapons held by the INLA.

Membership: Membership was estimated at a couple of dozen active members with a network of supporters in Ireland and continental Europe.

Arsenal: Before decommissioning took place the INLA was believed to have small stocks of rifles, hand guns and, possibly, grenades; it was also believed to have a small stock of commercial explosive from a source in New Zealand in the mid-1990s.

Holland, Jack., and McDonald, Henry. (1994). INLA Deadly Divisions.

[Main Entry]

Irish Network for Non-violent Action Training and Education (INNATE)
An umbrella group established in 1987 to provide support to groups and individuals interested in finding non-violent approaches to situations of conflict. INNATE organises conferences, training courses, and seminars in non-violence, and acts as an information point.

Irish Northern Aid Committee (NORAID)
synonyms: NORAID
The Irish Northern Aid Committee was most commonly known as NORAID. The organisation was established in 1969 and based in the United States of America (USA). It saw its main role as providing support and financial assistance to the republican movement during the conflict in Northern Ireland. In turn this was to give rise to allegations, which Noraid always denied, that it was involved in giving active assistance to the campaign of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). Despite these denials in 1977 the organisation was made to register as an agent of PIRA by the American government. During the 1980s and 1990s Noraid was to experience a series of internal splits caused by disagreements with the strategy then being adopted by the republican leadership in Ireland. As a result its profile and influence was to suffer as divisions widened with the formation of the Friends of Sinn Féin group in America.
[Web Site]

Irish Peace Institute (IPI)
The IPI was formed in 1984 with the aim of making a contribution to peace-building

Irish People's Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
synonyms: believed to have included - Catholic Reaction Force
The IPLO began as breakaway faction from the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). The IPLO itself was then involved in a major feud in 1992 between an 'Army Council' group and another group called the 'Belfast Brigade'. In October 1992 the Irish Republican Army (IRA) attacked a number of 'Army Council' and 'Belfast Brigade' members killing one and injuring many others. The two factions announced their disbandment within a week of the attacks.
(See also: Irish National Liberation Army.)

Irish Republican Army (IRA)
synonyms: Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), Provos, Óglaigh Na hÉireann, Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD)

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was the main Republican paramilitary group which was involved in the Northern Ireland conflict. The central aim of the IRA was to end British control of Northern Ireland and to achieve the reunification of the island of Ireland. The 'Irish Republican Army' dates from the meeting of the first Dáil on 21 January 1919 and was the name that was adopted by the Irish Volunteers who had taken part in the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916. Following independence in the south of Ireland the IRA re-emerged at various times to conduct campaigns to try to end British rule in Northern Ireland. Following the failed 'Border Campaign' (1956-1962) there were attempts to move the IRA towards more political agitation rather than military operations.

The Provisional IRA was established when the IRA split in December 1969 between the 'Officials' and the 'Provisionals'. Both groupings had a military wing, the 'Official' and the 'Provisional' IRA, and both had a political wing, 'Official' and 'Provisional' Sinn Féin (SF). The 'Official' IRA declared a ceasefire in the summer of 1972 and from then on the term IRA was used for the organisation that had developed from the 'Provisional' IRA. From a splinter group of a small and badly equipped paramilitary organisation, the 'Provisional' IRA developed into a comparatively large, well-financed, well-equipped guerrilla organisation which was involved in, what it called, an 'armed campaign' for almost three decades. This campaign involved violent attacks on security, political, economic and social targets in the region. According to Sutton (2001) the IRA was responsible for the deaths of 1,824 people between July 1969 and December 2001. During the same period the IRA lost approximately 275 members.

As part of the 'Peace Process' the IRA called a ceasefire on 31 August 1994. However, because of what it considered a lack of political movement in the peace process the IRA resumed its 'armed campaign' on 9 February 1996. After the election of a Labour government to Westminster, a number of developments led to the resumption of the IRA ceasefire on 20 July 1997. The IRA considered that the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) "document clearly falls short of presenting a solid basis for a lasting settlement" (IRA statement 30 April 1998) however the IRA did not reject the Agreement. In the years after the GFA the IRA made it clear that its ceasefire remained in place although it was alleged by critics that the organisation was, at the time, involved in paramilitary activity of various kinds. This is something the Republican Movement always denied and on numerous occasions the IRA repeated that the ceasefire called in July 1997 remained intact.

At various points during the Peace Process members of the IRA, who disagreed with the political direction taken by Sinn Féin, left the IRA. However, one of the most significant splits in the organisation occurred in November 1997 when many members left to form the 'real' Irish Republican Army (rIRA).

For a period after the GFA the IRA refused to decommission its weapons; an act which it considered to be a surrender to the British government. However, on 23 October 2001 the IRA announced that it had begun a process to put its arms beyond use. This was then repeated on two further occasions on 8 April 2002 and 21 October 2003. On Thursday 28 July 2005 the leadership of the IRA issued a statement which formally ordered an end to its armed campaign and instructed all IRA units to 'dump arms'. On Monday 26 September 2005 it was announced by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) that the IRA had completed the decommissioning of all of its arms.

Membership: It is thought that membership of the IRA peaked at around 1,500 in the mid-1970s and it is believed that at the time of the 1994 ceasefire membership was approximately 500 with a smaller number being 'active' members. The reduced membership coincided with the adoption by the IRA in 1979 of a 'cell structure' in an attempt to counter security force penetration through the use of informers. In addition to members in Ireland the IRA also had one or two 'active service units' in Britain and mainland Europe.

Arsenal: After its formation the (Provisional) IRA quickly became the most heavily, and best, armed of the various paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. At its peak the IRA may have had: 600 AK-47 / AKM assault rifles (believed to be Czech and Romanian versions of the AK-47 rifle smuggled from Libya between 1984 and 1987); 60 Armalite AR-15 assault rifles; 12 7.62mm FN MAG medium machine guns; 20 12.7mmx107mm DShK heavy machine guns; 2 to 3 SAM-7 anti-aircraft missiles; 40 RPG-7 rocket launchers; 40 Webley .455 revolvers; 6 LPO-50 flame throwers; 600 Assorted detonators; 3 tonnes of Semtex (commercial high explosive.) The IRA has always made use of 'home-made' weapons. These weapons became more sophisticated and more powerful over the years and included home-made mortars and fertiliser-based car and lorry bombs. Often these bombs contained hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of pounds of home-made explosives. Several large home-made bombs were used in the centre of London and Manchester causing hundreds of millions of pounds of damage.

Bell, J. Bowyer. (1999). The Secret Army: The IRA (updated edition). Dublin: Poolbeg.
Coogan, Tim. Pat. (1993). The IRA. London: Harper Collins.
English, Richard. (2003). Armed Struggle: A History of the IRA. London: Macmillan.
Kelley, Kevin. (1988). The Longest War: Northern Ireland and the IRA. London: Zed.
O'Brien, Brendan. (1999). The Long War: The IRA and Sinn Fein (2nd ed). Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
Moloney, Ed. (2002). A Secret History of the IRA. London: Allen Lane The Penguin Press.
Taylor, Peter. (1997). Provos: The IRA and Sinn Féin. London: Bloomsbury.

See Also:
Statements by the IRA.
Clarke, Liam. and Johnston, Kathryn. (2001). Conclusion: An End to the IRA? chapter 19 from 'MARTIN MCGUINNESS: From Guns to Government', Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing.
Krings, Torben. (2006). ‘With a ballot paper in both hands’. The transformation of the Irish republican movement from armed insurrection to constitutional politics, (29 April 2006), [PDF; 129KB]. CAIN: <>
Republican Movement. (1994). The 'TUAS' Document, [An internal Republican Movement document that is thought to date from the summer of 1994]. Dublin: Sunday Tribune.
Ryan, Patrick. (2001). 'The Birth of the Provisionals - A Clash between Politics and Tradition'. CAIN: <>
Sinn Féin (SF). (1979). Éire Nua, The Sinn Féin Policy - The Social, Economic and Political Dimensions. Dublin: Sinn Féin.

[Main Entry]

[new] Irish Republican Army (IRA)
synonyms: new IRA; Óglaigh Na hÉireann; Dissident Republicans

On 26 July 2012 media organisations received a statment which indicated that there had been a realignment and merger of a number of Dissident Republican paramilitary groups. It was reported (The Guardian; 26 July 2012) that the 'real' Irish Republican Army (rIRA) had merged with Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) and some other smaller Dissident Republican paramilitary groups. The new grouping adopted the name 'Irish Republican Army', however it was referred to by the media and the public as the 'new IRA'. It was also reported that the 'real' IRA and RAAD would cease to exist as of 26 July 2012.

The [new] IRA claimed responsibility for the killing of David Black, a Prison Officer, on 1 November 2012. The group also claimed responsibility for killing Kevin Kearney on 9 October 2013. Another Prison Officer, Adrian Ismay, was injured by a [new] IRA bomb and died of a heart attack on 15 March 2016. The group carried out a 'punishment' attack on Michael McGibbon on 15 April 2016 which resulted in his death.

On 18 April 2019 the [new] IRA fired shots at a PSNI Land Rover and killed Lyra McKee, a freelance reporter, who had been standing beside the police vehicle. There was widespread condemnation of the killing. The British Prime Minister, the Taoiseach, and the Irish President were among those who attended the funeral service for McKee.

See Also:
[new] Irish Republican Army (IRA). (2012). Irish Republican Army (IRA) Statement About A New Grouping, Derry, (26 July 2012). Derry: IRA Army Council.
[new] Irish Republican Army (IRA). (2019). Text of [new] Irish Republican Army (IRA) Statement About Lyra McKee, Derry, (23 April 2019). Derry: IRA Army Council.

Dissident Republican Groupings, and a Chronology of Dissident Republican Activity, 1994-2011

Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB)
A secret organisation that was actively involved in the 1916 Rising in Dublin. The IRB was the forerunner of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Irish Republican Liberation Army (IRLA)
In its eighteenth report published in May 2008 the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) reported that a new Dissident Republican grouping had emerged in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, and which had given itself the name Irish Republican Liberation Army (IRLA). Although it was judged not to be a serious threat the IMC raised concerns it was involved in criminal activity. This belief was repeated in the IMC’s twentieth report in which it stated that the IRLA was little more than a group of criminals attempting to justify their actions by claiming they were carried out in the pursuit of republican objectives.
[Entry added by Brendan Lynn, September 2011]

Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP)
A political party formed on 8 December 1974 to campaign for an all-Ireland socialist republic. The founder of the party was Seamus Costello but the best known member at that time was Bernadette McAliskey. The bulk of the membership initially came from previous members of Official Sinn Féin (OSF) and some previous members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Many of these people were unhappy with the ceasefires called by the Official and Provisional wings of the IRA. At the time it was formed it was strongly denied that the IRSP had a military wing, however, many commentators were, even then, detailing links with the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). Damaged by allegations of gangsterism and drug dealing, and by frequent and bloody feuding among members of the INLA and between it and other republican groups, the IRSP has never been numerically significant and by 1999 had only a few dozen active members in Northern Ireland (and others in the Republic; like other republican organizations, it was established on an all-island basis). The IRSP currently calls for a broad front of republican and socialist groupings to oppose what it regards as the unduly moderate position of Sinn Féin and to speak for “the subject people of the six counties and the oppressed working class of Ireland”.
[Main Entry]
[Web Site]

Irish Workers' Group (IWG)

(xx)     Indicates that an entry is being prepared.
(?)     Information is a best estimate while awaiting an update.
(??)     Information is doubtful and is awaiting an update.
[Main Entry]     Indicates that a longer separate entry is planned in the future.

For related and background information see also:

  • The list of acronyms associated with 'the Troubles'.
  • The glossary of terms related to the conflict.
  • The biographies of people who were prominent during 'the Troubles'.
  • The chronology of the conflict.

The information in the abstracts has been compiled from numerous primary and secondary sources. The best general sources for additional information are:

initial letter of the name of the organisation

CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.

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