Violence - Loyalist and Republican Paramilitary Groups
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Loyalist and Republican Paramilitary Groups
(See also: Information on Estimates of the Strength of Paramilitary Groups.)
Ceasefire Status of Existing Loyalist Paramilitary Groups
The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), and the Orange Volunteers (OV), claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Catholics in the years following the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Many of these attacks involved the use of 'pipe-bombs'. The three Loyalist paramilitary groups that were supposed to be on ceasefire, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), and the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), have also engaged in violence between 1998 and 2006. During the summer of 2001 there was evidence that elements within the UDA / Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), and LVF, were carrying out attacks but using the RHD, and OV, as a covername. On 12 September 2001 all three groups were "specified" by the British government, which meant that the government considered their ceasefires to be at an end. On 22 February 2003 the UDA declared a 12 month period of "military inactivity" (ceasefire). On 30 October 2005 the LVF announced that it had instructed its 'military units' to stand down. The UVF declared that it was renouncing violence and would cease to exist as a paramilitary organisation from midnight on 3 May 2007. On Sunday 11 November 2007 the UDA issued a statement in which it was announced that: "all active service units of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) will as from 12pm tonight stand down will all military intelligence destroyed and as a consequence of this all weaponry will be put beyond use".
Ceasefire Status of Existing Republican Paramilitary Groups
The "real" Irish Republican Army (rIRA) and the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) claimed responsibility for attacks against the security forces in Northern Ireland, and bombs in England, in the years after the Good Friday Agreement. During the same period the Irish Republican Army (IRA) which was supposed to have been on ceasefire was believed to have been responsible for the killing of a number of Catholics. On Thursday 28 July 2005 the leadership of the IRA issued a statement which formally ordered an end to its armed campaign and instructed all IRA units to dump arms. On Monday 26 September 2005 it was announced by the IICD that the IRA had decommissioned all its weapons. On Sunday 11 October 2009 the INLA issued a statement announcing that its "armed stuggle is over", the group released a statement on 8 February 2010 on the issue of weapsons held by the INLA.
Chronology and Relationship of Loyalist and Republican Paramilitary Groups
1. Futher information on individual parmilitary groups can be obtained by following the blue links in the tables (the appropriate entry will appear at the top of the page; use the 'back' button to return to this page).
2. The tables do not include various umbrella organsiations for example the CLMC (Combined Loyalist Military Command)
3. Any groups which appear in italics are believed to be cover names used by the organisations named alongside them. For example, 'UFF =uda' indicates that the Ulster Freedom Fighters was a cover name used by the Ulster Defence Association.
4. Some groups were formed when they split from an earlier organisation. These are indicated by, for example, 'CIRA /ira', which records the fact that the Continuity IRA was established by (mainly) former members of the IRA.
5. Dates: (1969-present) = in existence from 1969 to the present day; (1974) = appeared and disappeared in same year; (1967-?) = began in 1967 but date when ceased to exist unknown.
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