On 8 March 2009, two soldiers were shot in Northern Ireland. This attack was the first where British troops had been killed in Northern Ireland by terrorists since 1997. Sir Hugh Orde said that the viloence from dissident republicans had grown in the last time. Gordon Brown said that „no murderer will be able to derail the peace process”. The soldiers were attacked by a gunmen lying in a pizza delivery vehicle.
More than 500 British soldiers died during nearly 40 years of conflict in Northern Ireland but this attack was the first terrorist attack for more than a decade.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Northern Ireland to protest against the murders of two soldiers and a policeman by dissident republicans. More than 2000 people met in front of Belfast City Hall. The people were delivering a strong message: They did not want a return to bloodshed. They said that there is no place in the society for the dissident republicans. Even the pope described the happenings as „abominable acts of terrorism“.
Even today, dissident groups dream of a united Ireland. But because they exist it does not mean that breakaways will succeed. The Irish Republican Army was founded in 1919 in the uprising against British rule in Ireland. After the fights, IRA never went away. But the atmosphere since the two soldiers were shot is very different from the angry days of the late 1960s.