One of the last major dissident IRA groups has called a ceasefire stating the "environment is not right for armed conflict" at this time.
Oglaigh na hEireann gave their ceasefire statement to the Irish News newspaper. The name in English means “Army of Ireland.”
It was considered the most dangerous of the dissident groups with many well-known Republican figures in its ranks, but they never gained enough traction.
The two remaining groups – the New IRA and the Continuity IRA – are associated with drug-dealing and gangland activities, including local punishment squads, as much as military campaigns against the British.
The Oglaigh organization started carrying out attacks around 2009 and was formed after a split within another dissident group, the Real IRA.
Coming up on BBC Newsline at 6.30 - The dissident republican group Óglaigh na hÉireann has declared a ceasefire. pic.twitter.com/o9o2YxqWxp— BBC Newsline (@bbcnewsline) January 23, 2018
In December 2010, the group's strength was estimated to be about 50 active members with several hundred more supporters.
They have carried out high-profile attacks on the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the British Army in Northern Ireland.
The most infamous was a bomb attack that severely injured a Catholic police officer, Peadar Heffron, which was condemned universally. Heffron was captain of the PSNI Gaelic football team and a beloved figure.
The group had connections to drug-dealing among its younger members and was deeply infiltrated.
Their departure leaves only the New IRA and the Continuity IRA . The New IRA has been connected to several drug murders in Dublin. Continuity also has had gangland associations.
The Irish News reported that the “Oglaigh Na hEireann statement came without any deal with authorities and after consultation with prisoners who belong to the group.”
Dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann declares a ceasefire & says environment not right for armed struggle. Statement read by veteran trade unionist Peter Bunting. via @PA pic.twitter.com/y4UMYpDtTW— Lesley-Anne McKeown (@LAMcbelfast) January 23, 2018
The statement read:
"The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann are announcing that with immediate effect we will suspend all armed actions against the British state," it said.
"The leadership of ONH remain unbowed and unbroken. We will continue to protect our membership and base as we move forward in a spirit of united determination to achieve our political aims".
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin called on ONH to "meet people’s expectations and cease using violence immediately".
"This includes all types of organized criminality within communities.
"The group has announced it is to suspend all actions against the ‘British State’, however, for years now, members have been heavily involved in extreme violence against people living in their own communities, including carrying out brutal beatings and shootings, as well as menacing acts of intimidation to create fear and control."