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Provisional Irish Republican Army

The Irish Republican Army known as the Provisional Irish Republican Army, was an Irish republican paramilitary organisation that sought to end British rule in Northern Ireland, facilitate Irish reunification and bring about an independent republic encompassing all of Ireland. It was the most active republican paramilitary group during the Troubles, it saw itself as the military force of an all-island Irish Republic, as the sole legitimate successor to the original IRA from the Irish War of Independence. It accordingly referred to itself as the Irish Republican Army, or Óglaigh na hÉireann in Irish, it was designated a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland, both of whose authority it rejected. The Provisional IRA emerged in December 1969, following a split within the previous incarnation of the IRA and the broader Irish republican movement, it was the minority faction in the split, while the majority continued as the Official IRA. The term "provisional" was chosen to mirror the 1916 Provisional Government of the Irish Republic, to designate it as temporary pending reorganisation of the movement.

Although this reorganisation happened in 1970, the name stuck. The Troubles had begun shortly before when a Catholic, nonviolent civil rights campaign was met with violence from both Ulster loyalists and the Royal Ulster Constabulary, culminating in the August 1969 riots and deployment of British troops; the IRA focused on defence of Catholic areas, but it began an offensive campaign in 1971. The IRA's primary goal was to force the United Kingdom to negotiate a withdrawal from Northern Ireland, it used guerrilla tactics against the British RUC in both rural and urban areas. It carried out a bombing campaign in Northern Ireland and England against what it saw as political and economic targets; the Provisional IRA called a final ceasefire in July 1997, after its political wing Sinn Féin was re-admitted into the Northern Ireland peace talks. It supported the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and in 2005 it disarmed under international supervision. An internal British Army document examining its 37 years of deployment in Northern Ireland, described the IRA as "a professional, dedicated skilled and resilient force", while loyalist paramilitaries and other republican groups were described as "little more than a collection of gangsters".

US media described the IRA as "activists" and "guerillas", while the British press dubbed them "terrorists". Several splinter groups have been formed as a result of splits within the IRA, including the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA, both of which are still active in the low-level dissident Irish republican campaign; the IRA's armed campaign in Northern Ireland but in England and mainland Europe, caused the deaths of over 1,700 people. The dead included around 1,000 members of the British security forces, about 640 civilians; the IRA itself lost 275–300 members and an estimated 10,000 imprisoned at various times over the 30-year period. The Provisional IRA was organised hierarchically. At the top of the organisation was the IRA Army Council, headed by the IRA Chief of Staff. All levels of the organisation were entitled to send delegates to IRA General Army Conventions; the GAC was the IRA's supreme decision-making authority. Before 1969, GACs met regularly. Since 1969, there have only been three, in 1970, 1986, 2005, owing to the difficulty in organising such a large gathering of an illegal organisation in secret.

The GAC in turn elected a 12-member IRA Executive, which selected seven volunteers to form the IRA Army Council. For day-to-day purposes, authority was vested in the Army Council which, as well as directing policy and taking major tactical decisions, appointed a Chief of Staff from one of its number or, less from outside its ranks; the Chief of Staff would appoint an adjutant general as well as a General Headquarters, which consisted of heads of the following departments: Armoury Finance Engineering Training Intelligence Publicity Operations Security The IRA was divided into a Northern Command and a Southern Command. Northern Command operated in the nine Ulster counties as well as the border counties of Leitrim and Louth, Southern Command operated in the remainder of Ireland; the Provisional IRA was commanded by a leadership based in Dublin. However, in 1977, parallel to the introduction of cell structures at local level, command of the "war-zone" was given to the Northern Command. According to Ed Moloney, these moves at re-organisation were the idea of Ivor Bell, Gerry Adams and Brian Keenan.

Southern Command, located in the Republic of Ireland, consisted of a Dublin Brigade and a number of smaller units in rural areas. These were charged with the importation and storage of arms for the Northern units and with raising finances through robberies and other means; the IRA referred to its ordinary members as volunteers. Until the late 1970s, IRA volunteers were organised in units based on conventional military structures. Volunteers living in one area formed a company as part of a battalion, which could be part of a brigade, although many battalions were not attached to a brigade. IRA brigades followed county lines, which were sometimes subdivided; the Belfast Brigade had three battalions, in the west and east of the city. In the early years of the Troubles, the IRA in Belfast expanded rapidly.

Acute visual loss

Acute visual loss is a rapid loss of the ability to see. It is caused by four conditions retinal detachment, macular degeneration, giant cell arteritis. Retinal detachment should be considered if there were preceding flashes or floaters, or if there is a new visual field defect in one eye. If treated early enough, retinal tear and detachment can have a good outcome. Angle-closure glaucoma should be considered if there is painful loss of vision with a red eye, nausea or vomiting; the eye pressure will be high greater than 40 mmHg. Emergent laser treatment to the iris may prevent blindness. Wet macular degeneration should be considered in older people with new distortion of their vision with bleeding in the macula. Vision can be regained with prompt eye injections with anti-VEGF agents. Giant cell arteritis should be considered in an older person with jaw claudication, temporal pain, tiredness. Placing the person on steroids might save both their vision and decrease their risk of stroke. Without treatment a person can go blind in both eyes

Allan Ray

Allan Nathaniel Ray is an American professional basketball player for Boca Juniors of the Argentine Basketball League. He played college basketball for four years at Villanova University, he played one season with the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. Ray was recruited out of that year's New York State Champions, St. Raymond High School, by Villanova head coach Jay Wright, he committed to the Wildcats in 2001, along with three other players that made up a praised recruiting class. Along with Randy Foye, Curtis Sumpter and Jason Fraser, Ray was part of a class proclaimed as the players to lead the Wildcats back to a championship. Ray's career at Villanova was hampered by injuries, but nothing that kept him from scoring 2,000 points as a Wildcat, his freshman season, he was a key contributor. He had 16 points in his Wildcat debut against Marquette on November 15, 2002; as a sophomore, he averaged a team-leading 17.3 points per game. In his junior season, Ray was named second team all-Big East and led the Wildcats in scoring with 16.2 ppg.

That year, he led Villanova to the Sweet 16 of the 2005 NCAA Tournament where they lost to eventual national champion North Carolina by one point. His senior season was arguably Ray's best season as a college player. Villanova tied for the Big East regular-season championship with UConn and split their two games with the Huskies, their final Big East regular-season record was 14-2. Overall, their record was 28-5. In 2006, Ray was named to the Big East first team, along with teammate Randy Foye, given the honor of Big East Player of the Year. Ray led Villanova to the Elite Eight of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, playing in a four-guard offense with Foye, Kyle Lowry and Mike Nardi. During the 2006 Big East Tournament, Ray was poked in the eye by Carl Krauser during the semifinal game against Pittsburgh, his vision left him for a period of time and his eyeball had seemed to come loose from the socket, leading most to believe it was an serious injury. However, his vision returned and it turned out to be only soft tissue damage.

He was able to play less than a week in the NCAA tournament, without goggles. In his first game back, he led Villanova in scoring. While on the video it appeared as though his eye came loose from the socket, his eyelid went behind his eye, giving off the impression of his eye coming loose. Ray was not selected in surprising many Big East fans and some NBA experts. On July 6, 2006, he was signed as a free agent by the Boston Celtics. Ray was recalled after just two games there, he led the Toros in scoring in both games he played for them. During the last two months of the season, Ray began receiving extended playing time with the Celtics, had two 22-point games and three others where he scored 20, 18 and 17 points. Ray was fourth among rookies in three-point percentage. Despite a bright future in Boston, Ray agreed to terms on a $2 million contract to play in Italy, instead of having the Celtics pick up his $687,456 option. Ray signed with the Euroleague club Lottomatica Virtus Roma on July 27, 2007.

Midway through the following season, after the club signed Brandon Jennings, Ray left to sign a contract with Carife Ferrara for the remaining part of the season. After sitting out the 2009–10 season to recover from knee surgery, Ray signed with Sutor Montegranaro for the 2010–11 season. In November 2011 he signed a temporary contract with BC Krka in Slovenia, but in December 2011 he signed a new contract with Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez in France. In August 2012, he signed with ratiopharm Ulm for the 2012 -- 13 season. In November 2013, he signed with the Croatian team Cedevita Zagreb for the rest of the 2013–14 season. On July 30, 2014, he signed with Virtus Bologna for the 2014–15 season. On March 11, 2015, he signed a two-year contract extension with Virtus. On March 31, 2016, he parted ways with Virtus. In 2015–16 season, he played only six games due to an injury. On October 30, 2016, he signed with Amici Pallacanestro Udinese of the Italian Serie A2 Basket. On March 30, 2017, he parted ways with Udinese.

On April 3, 2017, he signed with Turkish club TED Ankara Kolejliler for the rest of the 2016–17 BSL season. On December 4, 2017, Ray signed with Byblos Club of the Lebanese Basketball League. Profile at euroleague.com Profile at legabasket.it