The people of Northern Ireland had put The Troubles behind them ten years ago.. but Sundays attack on a British army base brought a dormant terrorist faction back into the spotlight : The Real IRA.
The paramilitary units a splinter group of the provisional IRA, made up of disaffected members of the Republican organisation…. It was formed in 1997 - one year before the Good Friday agreements were signed to end the conflict that had haunted the Britain and Ireland for over 30 years….
The Real IRAs aim was to achieve a united Ireland … ousting the British from Northern Ireland, using force, if necessary… they were staunchly opposed to the ceasefire hammered out by the two governments.
The organization used car-bomb attacks in town centres to shake Northern Irish infrastructure… the most notorious attack was the Omagh bombing : in August 1998 - just months after the good Friday agreements - the bomb killed 29 people and injured a further 220…. It was the single deadliest incident during the Troubles….
As new anti-terror legislation was passed in Britain… and the provisional IRA put pressure on the Real IRA to cease their activities… Peace returned to Northern Ireland.
But the Real IRA had never permanently disbanded….. sporadic attacks in England and Northern Ireland were carried out in the years that followed… Sundays deadly shooting is yet another reminder… that the Real Ira is still a very real threat.