*This is from Irelands Own history section. Written by a lad named Máirtín. It's a good read. Hope you enjoy it as well
December 12th, 1957
The Border Campaign: (1957-1962)
The IRA’s 1939 bombing campaign in England had been a failure. A split in the organization in July 1946 (resulting in the foundation of Clann na Poblachta) weakened the IRA further. Despite these setbacks the GHQ of the IRA estimated that there were still 200 real activists still at work, with hundreds more on the fringes. An IRA convention took place in September 1948 with the purpose of electing a new Executive. The Executive appointed Tony Magan as Chief of Staff. Magan immediately set out to reorganize the movement.
The IRA conceded that one of the biggest mistakes of the 1939 campaign was the failure to harness popular support. Political naiveté was the result of the IRA being apolitical. At the 1949 army convention a resolution was passed allowing IRA members to join, infiltrate and control Sinn Féin so that the army could have a political wing. In 1950 there was an election in which Sinn Féin ran two IRA men as candidates and, as J Bowyer Bell points out, “the alliance was sealed and Sinn Féin was again a factor in the Republican movement”.
By May 1951 a ‘Campaign Plan’ was in place. The IRA had now begun preparing to attack the British army and RUC in the North. The IRA had started growing in size and arms raids took place, first in Derry, in which the IRA had procured a relatively small number of weapons (although they were more sophisticated than those used by the state army in the South at the time). A second successful raid took place in Armagh. The IRA took over 300 weapons from the British army’s Gough barracks. The IRA was evidently becoming more confident. Bowyer Bell describes the 1951 Wolfe Tone commemoration as the most enthusiastic in a generation. In addressing the crowd Gearóid O’Broín said: “These arms were captured by the Republican forces for use against the British occupation forces still in Ireland and they will be used against them…in due course”.