The success of the 1981 Irish hunger strike in mobilising support and winning elections led to the Armalite and ballot box strategy with more time and resources devoted to political activity. The abortive attempt at an escalation of the military part of that strategy led republican leaders increasingly to look for a political compromise to end the conflict, with a broadening dissociation of Sinn Féin from the IRA. Following negotiations with the SDLP and secret talks with British civil servants, the IRA ultimately called a ceasefire in 1994 on the understanding that Sinn Féin would be included in political talks for a settlement. When this did not happen, the IRA called off its ceasefire from February 1996 until July 1997, carrying out several bombing and shooting attacks. These included the Docklands bombing and the Manchester bombing, which together caused around £500 million in damage. After the ceasefire was reinstated, Sinn Féin was admitted into all-party talks, which produced the Belfast Agreement of 1998.
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