On the evening of Friday the 29th of July the minor Republican Resistance grouping, Óglaigh na hÉireann (ÓnaÉ), staged a “show of strength” in the small Irish village of Park, County Derry. Three ÓnaE volunteers, wearing military clothing, improvised masks and gloves, posed for a photographer, one of the trio firing a volley of shots into the air from a single handgun. A quick statement threatening local drug dealers and criminals was issued before the men disappeared into the darkness. The relatively muted reaction of the press to the event highlights the unimpressive nature of the demonstration which did more to illustrate the weakness and old fashioned thinking of the would-be insurgency than its power.
As for the trio of guerrillas, the men were dressed in Flecktarn-style camouflaged field-jackets and trousers acquired from the surpluses of the Bundeswehr in Germany and sold cheap on the civilian market. The distinctive hooded parkas are popular among some of the anarchist movement in continental Europe (an ÓnaÉ representative has appeared in similar attire at a previous propaganda event). The handgun was a Smith & Wesson Model 15 or similar, a six-round revolver favoured as a reliable close-quarters weapon by the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army during the 1969-2005 conflict in the UK-administered north-east of Ireland. From the venerable appearance of the gun it was almost certainly sourced from former (P)IRA stocks, and may have spent years in a concealed underground dump or bunker.
As I have pointed out before, aside perhaps from the relatively uncommon ex-German Army uniforms, the insurgency remains almost entirely reliant on the munitions and equipment formerly belonging to the Provisional movement.