The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is an Irish terrorist group fighting for the unity of Ireland, by the reunification of the Northern Ireland, also known as Ulster. It first incarnation was a legitimate army belonging to the Republic of Ireland.
In 1921 they became a rebellion against the Anglo-Irish Treaty between the United Kingdom and Ireland and fought a bloody civil war, and later resisted British interference in the region until the 1960s. Since then there have been many divisions in the organization over the decades. The "original" incarnation adopting Marxist ideals in 1969 and becoming a legitimate political party by the 1970s. The more reactionary Provisional IRA, which ran from 1969.
Another rift in the organization happened when the PIRA ceased its practice of abstentionism leading to another offshoot calling themselves the Continuity IRA in 1986. Another group calling themselves the "Real" IRA in 1997 also formed to oppose the peace process between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, using violence and intimidating leading to secretarial clashes between the Catholic and Protestant divide in both countries. As of 2011, members of the PIRA also formed yet another faction resuming hostilities toward the continued British rule of Northern Ireland.
In the spring of 1943, Nazi spies operating in Ireland sought to sour Irish-American relations by causing a number of bombings in Ireland and framing the IRA for them and then using rabble rousing to turn the Irish public against IRA. This plot almost worked had it not been for the intervention of the Sub-Mariner whom was framed as a member of the IRA. He broke out of prison and with the assistance of key members of the IRA helped prevent Nazi Von Klutz from blowing up a reservoir. Namor rounded up the Nazis in the area and turned them over to the authorities clearing the IRA of any wrong doing.
Much later, Deborah Harris' niece Glorianna O'Breen fled Ireland to avoid persecution from the IRA as they believed that she had become a traitor to the cause. They had sent agents after her in New York, among them the sadistic Paddy O'Hanlon also known as The Gael to eliminate her. They were stopped thanks to the intervention of Daredevil.
To be noted that many groups claimed the name of Irish Republican Army, and are composed of separated cells, leading to various kind of actions less or more violent and moral, like supporting or battling the Nazis.
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