Irish National Liberation Army

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The Irish National Liberation Army (Irish: Arm Saoirse Náisiúnta na hÉireann) or INLA is an Irish republican socialist paramilitary group that was formed on 8 December 1974. Its goal is to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and create a socialist united Ireland.

Sharing a common Marxist ideology with its political wing, the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), it enjoyed its peak of influence in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In its earliest days, the INLA was known as the People's Liberation Army (PLA). During the PLA period, the group's purpose was primarily to protect IRSP members from attacks.

After a twenty-four year campaign, the INLA declared a ceasefire on 22 August 1998.[1] In August 1999, it stated that "There is no political or moral argument to justify a resumption of the campaign".[2] In October 2009, the INLA formally vowed to pursue its aims through peaceful political means.[3]

The organisation is classified as a proscribed terrorist group in the UK and as an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland.[4][5]




The founders of the INLA were Seamus Costello and other activists who had left or been forced out of the Official IRA in the wake of the OIRA's 1972 ceasefire and the increasingly reformist approach of Official Sinn Féin. Costello espoused a mixture of traditional Republican militarism and Marxist-oriented politics. Shortly after it was founded, the INLA came under attack from their former comrades in the OIRA, who wanted to destroy the new grouping before it could get off the ground.

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