Police stationed outside a police station in Newtownhamilton, County ArmaghWilliam Cherry/Presseye

Irish police in the Republic of Ireland are taking extra precautions to protect themselves against dissident republican terrorists after shots were fired at Gardai (police) in July during an arrest.

Traditionally republican groups such as the IRA would avoid physical and armed confrontation with members of the Gardai but the new dissident groups recently established don't seem to be sticking to the unspoken agreement. 

Gardai investigating dissident activity have been warned to be on high alert during their work.

Special emergency response units in the gardai who are on the front lines dealing with investigations, particularly along the border, are taking more precautions.

Operation Designer, which has been in existence since last year, has stopped several dissident attacks on security targets in Northern Ireland.

Last July Oglaigh na hEireann, an active dissident gang thought to be very dangerous, fired shots at gardai when they were arresting suspects in Co. Louth.

No one was injured.

It was however the first time in years that shots had been fired at members of the Gardai.

In the republic of Ireland 70 arrests have been made this year in suspected terrorism activities.

28 suspects have been changed with offences related to terror activities.

This year alone the dissident republicans are responsible for 39 attacks.

In 2009 this number was at 22.