The saying that the IRA had no support during the troubles is an absolute joke
As a unionist nothing makes me more sick than the IRA/SF/Republicans.
The IRA had high support during the troubles especially in the Republic of Ireland polls show in the late 70s early 80s 20 percent of people in the Republic of Ireland support the Provisional IRA, polls in the same time also show 80-90 percent of people wanting complete immediate unequivocal British withdrawal from Northern Ireland which is basically the same as support for the IRA.
Sinn Fein (the political wing of the IRA) was also taking roughly half the catholic vote in the 80s in Northern Ireland even though this was ten years later to the peak of IRA support in the early 70s.
The Republic of Ireland also had a territorial claim to my country throughout the whole of the troubles which further went to justify IRA violence.
This seems to be less prevalent but some people in the Republic of Ireland seem to believe that the PIRA was a Northern Irish organization which is not true at all the south of Ireland is just as sectarian as the Catholics in the north, the people who founded the PIRA were actually mostly from the republic and the British army believed that on the border areas (it’s most dangerous units) most of the IRA members were actually from and living on the other side of the border.
The IRA as a whole was mostly from the Republic the IRA had two sections North command and South command, South command consisted of about 2,000 members which were responsible for maintaining the IRA as a viable force responsible for things like funding, bomb making, bringing in weapons and transporting bombs to the roughly 500 members in the Northern command who are mainly from the north with a small amount from the border areas, the northern command is the part of the IRA that will actually carry out the bombings and shootings and are known as the hardcore members.
People don’t realize what Northern Ireland was like in the early 70s, in 1972 Belfast was one of the most dangerous places on earth that year alone the IRA exploded 1300 bombs on commercial targets justifying it by calling in warning but you explode 1300 bombs on buildings in that amount of time how can you expect to not have casualties.