The dissident Irish republican paramilitary organisation known as the Real IRA declare a permanent ceasefire.

Following the Omagh bombing and the subsequent wave of public revulsion, the dissident Irish republican paramilitary organisation known as the Real Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced it was suspending its campaign and considering a permanent ceasefire. However a smaller number of hardliners were holding out.

In the face of pressure from the Irish and British governments which had introduced hard measures to crush the dissidents, along with pressure from the security forces who were keeping the dissidents under 24 hour surveillance, and threats from the Provisional IRA, the breakaway group finally agreed to a ceasefire.

The announcement came in a statement telephoned to RTÉ. It stated that from midnight 7 September 1998, its volunteers had determined

A complete cessation of all military activity. 

The statement was welcomed by the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern who had been waiting for this declaration. While he acknowledged it as an important step he added,

Of course it does nothing for the people who were killed in Omagh or for the relatives or the victims.

The pressure is now on the so called Continuity IRA, the only republican group still to declare a ceasefire, to end its campaign.

The Taoiseach wants this group to state its position because

We need to know that in the efforts we are making to crush paramilitary violence in this country, there’s no room for it anymore, the people have answered in the Good Friday Agreement and in the vote on the 22 May.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 September 1998. The reporter is Tom McCaughren.