In a strongly-worded statement warning of further attacks, responsibility for two letter bombs addressed to prison staff at Maghaberry jail has been claimed in the name of ‘the IRA’.
The new IRA organisation, formed in 2012 following a merger of the ‘Real IRA’ and other breakaway groups, said its shooting of notorious prison warder David Black almost eighteen months ago had not been heeded.
The group said prisoners were being subject to “degradation and torture” within the jail’s republican wings at Roe House.
“The further deaths of prison staff is an inevitability should the Maghaberry situation not be resolved,” the statement said.
It confirmed that it was behind two letter bombs addressed to senior prison staff at Maghaberry last week. Without naming the two men, it insisted they “be removed from Roe House immediately or face direct action from either inside or outside the jail.
“The IRA has the intelligence, capability, weaponry and volunteers at its disposal to take further actions against prison service staff and management,” the statement said. “We will not be found wanting in that regard.
“The responsibility for further armed actions by the IRA will rest with those who have failed to constructively deal with the issues that are causing conflict within the jail.”
An explosive device was discovered this [Friday] morning in the Blacks Road area or Belfast, although there was no immediate evidence of a link to the Maghaberry situation.
The road was closed while a British Army squad dealt with the item, thought to be an anti-personnel ‘booby trap’ device.
In a separate incident, an alert was caused by a device found off the Springfield Road on Tuesday afternoon. That device was later declared to have been an elaborate hoax.
Meanwhile, leaflets have been issued in the name of a second armed group, Oglaigh na hEireann, to warn that a habitual criminal must leave Belfast.
The man in question has been accused of a spate of robberies and an arson attack on the car of an Ardoyne family, as well as robbing a house knowing that the funeral of the occupant was taking place at the time.
The leaflets stated that the man has been “ordered to leave the Belfast area within 48 hours or face the consequences. Investigations into other criminal acts in the district are continuing”, adding: “ONH will name shame and make those responsible amenable for their actions.”
It was reported that the man has since left the area.