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Real Irish Republican Army facts for kids

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Real Irish Republican Army
Óglaigh na hÉireann
Participant in
Active 1997–2012
Ideology Physical force Irish republicanism
Dissident republicanism
Leadership Army Council
Area of operations Northern Ireland (mainly)
Republic of Ireland
Great Britain
Split from Provisional Irish Republican Army
Merged into New Irish Republican Army
Opponents British Army
Police Service of Northern Ireland
Garda Síochána
Irish Defence Forces

The Real Irish Republican Army, or Real IRA (RIRA), was a dissident Irish republican paramilitary group that aimed to bring about a United Ireland.


The RIRA's objective is a united Ireland by forcing the end of British sovereignty over Northern Ireland through the use of physical force. The organisation rejects the Mitchell Principles and the Good Friday Agreement, comparing the latter to the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty which resulted in the partition of Ireland. The organisation aims to uphold an uncompromising form of Irish republicanism and opposes any political settlement that falls short of Irish unity and independence.

The RIRA adopted a tactic of bombing town centres to damage the economic infrastructure of Northern Ireland. The organisation also attacks members of the security forces using land mines, home-made mortars and car bombs, and has also targeted England using incendiary devices and car bombs to "spread terror and disruption".


The group was formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional IRA by dissident members, who rejected the IRA's ceasefire that year. Like the Provisional IRA before it, the Real IRA saw itself as the only rightful successor to the original Irish Republican Army and styled itself as simply "the Irish Republican Army" in English or Óglaigh na hÉireann in Irish. It was an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland and designated a proscribed terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Real IRA waged a campaign in Northern Ireland against the Police Service of Northern Ireland—formerly the Royal Ulster Constabulary—and the British Army. It was the largest and most active of the "dissident republican" paramilitary groups operating against the British security forces. It targeted the security forces in firearm attacks and bombings, and with grenades, mortars and rockets.

The Real IRA was also responsible for bombings in Northern Ireland and England with the goal of causing economic harm and disruption, the most notable being the 1998 Omagh bombing, which killed 29 people. After that bombing, the Real IRA went on ceasefire, but resumed operations in 2000. In March 2009.

In July 2012, it was reported that Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) and other small republican militant groups were merging with the Real IRA. This new entity was named the New IRA by the media but members continue to identify themselves as simply "the Irish Republican Army". Small pockets of the Real IRA that did not merge with the New IRA continue to have a presence in the Republic of Ireland, particularly in Cork and to a lesser extent in Dublin.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ejército Republicano Irlandés Auténtico para niños

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