The Sunningdale Agreement was a proposed power-sharing agreement between the Northern Irish government and the Irish Republic that was intended to bring an end to the sectarian violence that had plagued Northern Ireland. However, the agreement was fiercely opposed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the Sunningdale Agreement did not provide for a united Ireland, which was a key goal of the IRA. The agreement acknowledged the legitimacy of the Northern Irish state, which the IRA saw as a British colonial outpost on Irish soil. The IRA believed that any attempt to broker a deal that did not ultimately lead to a united Ireland was a betrayal of Irish nationalism.
Secondly, the IRA opposed the Sunningdale Agreement because it contained provisions for the establishment of a Northern Ireland Assembly, as well as a power-sharing executive that would involve both unionist and nationalist politicians. The IRA saw this as an attempt to co-opt Irish nationalists into a system that was designed to maintain British rule in Northern Ireland.
Thirdly, the Sunningdale Agreement included a provision for the British government to play a role in Northern Irish affairs. The IRA saw this as interference in Irish affairs, and believed that any solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland should be Irish-led and not involve the British government.
Finally, the IRA was distrustful of the British government and saw the Sunningdale Agreement as yet another attempt to divide and conquer the Irish people. The IRA believed that the British government`s ultimate goal was to maintain control over Northern Ireland and that any proposed solution that did not involve a united Ireland was simply a means of perpetuating British rule.
In conclusion, the IRA opposed the Sunningdale Agreement because it did not provide for a united Ireland, contained provisions for a power-sharing executive that they believed would perpetuate British rule, involved the British government in Northern Irish affairs, and was seen as yet another attempt to divide and conquer the Irish people.