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The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was formed from the previously established Irish Volunteers, who were organized in 1913 and took part in the Easter Rising revolt of 1916. The IRA was recognized as the official military branch of the Irish Republic in 1919, and began its guerilla-style tactics during the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). The IRA split into two different factions when many members opposed the treaty with the British; supporters joined the Irish National Army while those in opposition to the treaty began a civil war from 1922-1923. Despite losing the civil war, the IRA remained intact--its ultimate goal to overthrow both Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State in Southern Ireland. The original IRA eventually split apart in 1969, with other fragments remaining in existence today.
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