Irish War

October 25, 1989


December 12, 1989




British Victory


Flag of Ireland Ireland

Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom







Casualties and Losses



The Invasion of Ireland, also known as the Irish War, was a military conflict between the United Kingdom and the short-lived Republic of Ireland in 1989. The conflict stemmed from the refusal by the United Kingdom to give independence to Ireland, due to fear of Russian influence on an independent Ireland. Various independence groups had formed, and in the 1980s they were largely unified by the Irish Republican Army under Enda Kenny. In October 1989, the IRA stormed the Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin and Kenny declared the formation of a new Republic of Ireland. His supporters attempted to remove all outside influence, especially English and Protestant. Religious and ethnic warfare broke out in major cities across Ireland.

The UK responded quickly, sending a task force to Ulster, which had stayed loyal to the United Kingdom. From here, the British rapidly moved south as their air force destroyed any Irish resistance. Delayed by guerrilla fighting, the British task force arrived in Dublin and after a day of street figthing, captured Kenny. With a clear leader, the IRA splintered and the war was essentially over. British troops remained on the island for two years until the last of the IRA leaders had been captured and guerrilla warfare subsided. 

In the late 1990s, the British began to relax their rule over Ireland, and granted the island increasing self-governance. Irish Prime Minister Liam Neeson has done much to keep the peace between the Catholics and Protestants, and today Ireland has been granted near independence as part of the Imperial Commonwealth.

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