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Friday 26 May 2017

Dissident organisations at a glance

CONTINUITY IRA

The oldest breakaway group, its formation came after a row within Sinn Fein when the party decided to end its policy of not sending elected TDs to the Dail in 1986.

Some of the senior members, mainly based on this side of the Border, walked out of an ard fheis and formed a new party, Republican Sinn Fein (RSF).

Gardai say the RSF is the political wing of the Continuity IRA although the party denies this.

CIRA continues to recruit and acquire new weapons and is also involved in extensive targeting of security personnel and locations in the North for terrorist attack.

REAL IRA

LOUTH-based Liam Campbell (top right) was director of operations in the early days of the Real IRA. However, after a rift in the group, Campbell linked supporters in his traditional strongholds in the border area and further south with terrorists based in Belfast and the north-west.

After he was held in an MI5 sting, four figures came to prominence: a Belfast woman who was highly active in the Provisional IRA in the past; a Louth man who organises the logistical and engineering side of the group; a Derry man who operates an almost independent republican fiefdom in the north-west; and a man living in south county Dublin who acts as the RIRA's "officer commanding" in Dublin. The OC heads a group in the Donaghmede area who raise funds by providing bouncers for pubs and clubs in the capital.

OGLAIGH NA hEIREANN

A faction of the Real IRA set up by Michael McKevitt, below, after a rift in the leadership of the Provisional IRA over the peace process.

The group has about 50 activists and is regarded as the most serious paramilitary threat in the North.

It remains loyal to McKevitt but he is out of the loop militarily as he is serving 20 years for directing a terrorist organisation. Control of the faction rests with a middle-aged Louth man, who was a key aide to McKevitt in the early days of the Real IRA.

Irish Independent

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