For decades the British and Irish have "got used to" a situation without parallel in Europe: a cold, ferocious, persistent campaign of bombing and terror of extraordinary duration and inventiveness. At the heart of that campaign lies one man - Gerry Adams. From the outbreak of the troubles he has been an immensely influential figure. One of the most compelling questions about the IRA is - how did a man who condoned atrocities that resulted in huge numbers of civilian deaths also become the guiding light behind the peace process? This text tells the story of the IRA from its origins to the present, but concentrating on the time from the start of the troubles to the ceasefire and partial decommissioning of weapons in 2001.