Óglaigh na hÉireann
The Real Irish republican Army
The Real Irish Republican Army, also known as the Real IRA or the RIRA is a Republican paramilitary group in Ireland which aims to bring about a united Ireland. The organization was formed in 1997 after the splitting of the Provisional IRA due to a ceasefire earlier in the year. The RIRA consider themselves to be the only rightful successors of the original Irish Republican Army, and aim to reunify the entirety of Ireland through the use of force. This group is classified as an illegal organization within Ireland, and ius seen as a terrorist organization by both the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Support within Ireland
The number of supporters of the organization has dwindled in recent years, but their presence within Ireland still holds strong. The organization currently has no elected representatives within the government, and has no coherent political wing. As of 2012, the number of RIRA supporters is estimated to be between 200-400 people strong. A mixture of veterans from the original IRA, along with new recruits keeps the organization active and present within Ireland today. Members of the organization tend to prey on, and subsequently recruit youths who are already affiliated in acts of violence and theft, as well as those who are seen as outlaws of society. These new recruits are then used to smuggle illegal supplies into the country from places such as Lithuania, Croatia and Slovakia.
Affiliated Acts of Terrorism
Through the use of explosives, the RIRA cause havoc by targeting political buildings and organizations. The latest large-scale attack took place in 1998 in Omagh, killing 29 people as well as unborn twins. In recent years, terrorist activity has died down considerably, but within the last year, the organization has targeted and killed two Irish soldiers. These acts of violence come in response to political views that go against the RIRA's goals of Irish unification, as well as court rulings. The group also takes part in assassination and robberies, sometimes targeting citizens as well as political figures, British military, and police .
In light of the events of the past, police now patrol both sides of the border between Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, and the southern portion of Ireland which stands as its own independent country. Tensions are high as the possibility of corruption within the police force becomes a reality. It is thought that some police officers may in fact be working for the Real IRA, allowing acts of terrorism to cruise below the radar.