Paramilitary Violence and Policing in Northern Ireland By: Branka Marijan and Sean Brennan | Northern Ireland | May 20, 2015

It has been more than 20 years since the paramilitary ceasefires in Northern Ireland. While much has changed in the polity, recent events show that the issue of paramilitarism has not entirely been resolved. In late April 2015, images of two masked gunmen “patrolling” the streets of a housing estate in Lurgan, a small Northern Irish town, appeared on social media. The image seemed like a flashback to the period of conflict, widely known as the Troubles. Moreover, the gunmen are believed to be members of a “dissident” republican paramilitary group that does not support the ceasefires and the 1998 peace deal, the Belfast Agreement (also known as the Good Friday Agreement). Outraged by the incident and the paramilitary “show of strength”, local government officials called on the police to act and to investigate the activities of dissident groups. Read more


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