The Daily Shift’s news editor Denise O’Donoghue reports on the emergence of a ‘New IRA’ in Northern Ireland and their intent to increase their campaign of violence…
Members of the New Irish Republican Army have released a statement to UK newspaper The Guardian detailing their reasons for forming and their intentions towards Britain.
The force incorporates three of the four main dissident republican organisations of Northern Ireland: The Real IRA, The Republican Action Against Drugs and a coalition of independent groups. The Continuity IRA alone remains separate from the newly established group.
The group is rumoured to include several hundred members, including members of the former Provisional IRA, whose armed campaign was formally disbanded in 2005.
The statement released by the New IRA claims that they wish to uphold the “ideals and principles” of the Proclamation of 1916. They plan on attacking symbols of British presence in Northern Ireland, which could include security and police forces.
“Following extensive consultations, Irish republicans and a number of organisations involved in armed actions against the armed forces of the British crown have come together within a unified structure, under a single leadership, subservient to the constitution of the Irish Republican Army.
“The leadership of the Irish Republican Army remains committed to the full realisation of the ideals and principles enshrined in the Proclamation of 1916.
“In recent years the establishment of a free and independent Ireland has suffered setbacks due to the failure among the leadership of Irish nationalism and fractures within republicanism. The root cause of conflict in our country is the subversion of the nation’s inalienable right to self-determination and this has yet to be addressed. Instead the Irish people have been sold a phoney peace, rubber-stamped by a token legislature in Stormont.
“Non-conformist republicans are being subjected to harassment, arrest and violence by the forces of the British crown; others have been interned on the direction of an English overlord. It is Britain, not the IRA, which has chosen provocation and conflict.
“The IRA’s mandate for armed struggle derives from Britain’s denial of the fundamental right of the Irish people to national self-determination and sovereignty – so long as Britain persists in its denial of national and democratic rights in Ireland the IRA will have to continue to assert those rights.
“The necessity of armed struggle in pursuit of Irish freedom can be avoided through the removal of the British military presence in our country, the dismantling of their armed militias and the declaration of an internationally observed timescale that details the dismantling of British political interference in our country.
“Signed Army Council … IRA.”
SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell condemned the organisation, stating it will be resisted by the people of Northern Ireland:
“They want to fill our jails, they want to fill our cemeteries and they want to deny our young people any opportunity for a job or prosperity.
“Since the people of Ireland united in 1998 to vote overwhelmingly for a peaceful and democratic solution to the Troubles, the island has continued to build on the desire of the vast majority of people to co-exist in an atmosphere of calm and prosperity.
“Neither this new so-called IRA, the Continuity IRA or any other iteration of dissident threat will destabilise the structures and partnerships that have underpinned the relative peace of the last 14 years.
“These are people who would rather skulk in dark alleyways, shooting teenagers in the legs for anti-social behaviour than stand proud in an election count and wait for the people’s voice to be heard through the ballot box.
“These people do not represent me, my family, my party or my nation.”