Irish Republican News · September 19, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
CIRA vow to defend nationalist areas

Hardline republicans have promised a “vicious and violent” response if nationalists are murdered by unionist paramilitaries.

A leading member of the breakaway Continuity IRA has said that nationalists fear the UVF will now target people living in flashpoint areas after its ceasefire was offically declared over by the British government.

The group is said to be patrolling parts of north and west Belfast following last week’s intense violence by unionist rioters. The INLA and ‘Real IRA’ are also reportedly active.

The CIRA leader told a Sunday newspaper his men were on “standby” to defend nationalist homes.

“The nationalist people are obviously worried about the state of loyalism at the moment, none more so that those living in interface areas.

“Now that the UVF ceasefire is no longer recognised people are concerned that once the group’s feud with the LVF is over they will turn their attentions to innocent Catholics.

“But if this happens, then loyalist leaders should be prepared for an armed response from our volunteers. We will not stand by and watch our people being murdered.

“We have the weapons and the men to hit back at the loyalists. We will have no hesitation in defending our communities.

“This is a tense time for everyone and we would like to remind people that we are not on ceasefire.”

* The PSNI police came under attack from youths rioting in Antrim town for several hours on Saturday night in a second consecutive night of violence.

Wheelie bins were dragged into the road and burned and roads were closed to the public for hours. The violence was condemned by the SDLP and Sinn Féin.

* Elsewhere, rival nationalist and unionist youths clashed in Derry city centre over the weekend. Missiles were hurled by both sides in the Market Street/Foyle Street area.

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© 2005 Irish Republican News