Allison Morris breaks the news that Republican group Oglaigh an hEireann have announced a ceasefire. The group claimed the life of PSNI man Ronan Kerr and attempted to kill another Peadar Heffron.
Allison also provides short analysis piece on the background…
That most of the leadership originated from the IRA meant it already had possession of large amounts of weaponry held back from decommissioning by hardline elements in south Armagh, along with contacts with arms dealers in eastern Europe.
However, this also meant that many key figures were already well known to the intelligence agencies who invested huge amounts of time and money in monitoring their activities.
When Seamus McGrane was convicted in the Republic’s Special Criminal Court of directing terrorism in November last year, it was based on a covert surveillance operation.
The removal of other leadership figures in Belfast and Derry, either jailed or remanded, also brought about a slow-down of the group’s activities.
A nationalist re-engagement in politics, as seen by increased turnout in the two snap elections of 2017, and discussions around a border poll post-Brexit, has also opened up the political process to more republicans.
The remaining dissident groupings are fractured and disorganised, with attacks sporadic and activity largely concentrating on money-making criminal enterprises or paramilitary shootings within their own communities.
The older leadership of ONH were keen to distance themselves from that and taking themselves out of the equation will be seen as a way to put space between them and smaller organised crime gangs.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty