Dissident Irish republican campaign
The dissident Irish republican campaign began at the end of the Troubles, a 30-year political conflict in Northern Ireland. Since the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA or PIRA) called a ceasefire and ended its campaign in 1997, breakaway groups opposed to the ceasefire and to the peace agreements ("dissident Irish republicans") have continued a low-level armed campaign against the security forces in Northern Ireland. The main paramilitaries involved are the Real IRA, Continuity IRA and Óglaigh na hÉireann. They have targeted the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the British Army in gun and bomb attacks as well as with mortars and rockets. They have also carried out bombings that are meant to cause disruption. However, their campaign has not been as intensive as the Provisional IRA's, and political support for groups such as the Real IRA is "tending towards zero".
|Dissident Irish Republican Campaign|
Map of Ireland
Dissident republican paramilitaries
PSNI: 6,985 officers|
RUC: 13,000 constables (until 2001)
250-300 Real IRA members (2012 estimate)
In 2007, the government declared the end of Operation Banner, ending the four-decade long deployment of the British Army in Northern Ireland. As a result the PSNI has since been the main target of attacks.
To date, two British soldiers, two PSNI officers and two Prison Service guards have been killed as part of the republican campaign. At least 50 civilians (and former combatants) have also been killed by republican paramilitaries, 29 of whom died in the Omagh bombing carried out by the Real IRA.