The Irish Republican Army, also known as the IRA, is a parliamentary and nationalist organization that opposes the connection of Northern Ireland to Great Britain. The IRA is also dedicated to the creation of a single unified Irish state. The name IRA derived from the veterans of the Easter Battles of 1916. The battle was fought for support of Irish independence. Accordingly the IRA became the political division of the Sinn Fein party. The political leaders of Britain and Ireland, negotiated a treaty that incorporated 26 of Ireland's counties as the Irish Free State. The remainder of Ireland, remained part of the United Kingdom. .
The Irish Republican Army began to decline after Eamon de Valera became a prime minister and took over the Irish government. The IRA and the Irish state were in constant conflict, during the 1930s and 1940s. The IRA started to concentrate on Northern Ireland in the 1950s. The IRA tried to gain favor from Northern Ireland, but failed. .
In 1969 the IRA started new radical social reforms in Northern Ireland, and the British government couldn't overcome them after a dozen years. This crisis also allowed the IRA to make a drastic comeback. The Irish Republican Army was split into two groups. The officials, which promoted a Socialist Ireland by democratic means, and provisionals, that promoted terrorism. In 1972 the Provisional IRA's terrorist tactics led to the downfall of the Northern Ireland government. From 1972 to 1994 the Provisional IRA maintained their campaign on terminating British victims in Northern Ireland and Britain.
On August 31, 1994, the Irish Republican Army announced a cease-fire. This would affect the 25-year-old battle against British domination of Northern Ireland. This cease-fire came about from several years of confidential meetings between the IRA and the British government. This arrangement for peace is called the "Downing Street Declaration." .
The controversy between Northern Ireland and Britain began with Roman Catholic objections against favoritism by the protestant majority in the country.