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18 September 2014
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Recent History - Northern Ireland: The

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Fact Files

Brief guides to the political parties and paramilitaries of Northern Ireland.
Political Parties
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Political Parties Paramilitaries
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Irish National Liberation Army

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The INLA was formed in 1974, following a split in the Official IRA over its 1972 ceasefire.

Its peak of activity was in the 1970s and early 1980s, when it often operated in concert with other republican groups. Three of the 10 republican hunger strikers who died in 1981 were INLA members.

The organisation first rose to prominence with the assassination of Conservative Northern Ireland spokesman Airey Neave at the House of Commons in 1979. In total, it is believed to have killed more than 120 people during the Troubles.

Riven by splits and feuds, and widely associated with criminality such as armed robberies, the INLA almost fell apart during the mid- to late 1980s. One splinter group, the Irish People's Liberation Organisation, was attacked and disbanded by the Provisional IRA in 1992.

In December 1997, the group killed leading loyalist paramilitary Billy Wright inside the Maze Prison, sparking a cycle of violent reprisals. It has a reputation, even among republican militants, of being extreme.

In the wake of the 1998 Omagh bomb, the INLA called a ceasefire.

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