Republican Sinn Fein president Ruairi O Bradaigh has said RSF’s failure to make an impact in last week’s Assembly election was “as expected” after an “almost total media blackout” of his party.
“Even the name of Republican Sinn Fein was suppressed by the Stormont regime’s electoral body and a compliant media followed suit,” he said.
“Our candidates were styled ‘Independents’, taking away our coherent strategy and sense of direction.”
RSF is not registered as a political party in either the Six Counties or the 26 Counties, leading the party’s candidates to be classed as independents in the recent election.
Mr O Bradaigh said that, in contrast, the media in the 26 Counties do not class Republican Sinn Fein candidates as “Independents”, but treat them as an organised body.
“Indeed, on the TG4 television programme Seacht La on polling day, a commentator [Tomas Tiernan] stated that there was a complete block on publicity for Republican Sinn Fein and that there appeared to have been an agreement between the various channels to this effect.
“The result was, that denied publicity and even their organisation’s name, our six candidates were consigned to a welter of Independent candidates, without the distinction of the Republican Sinn Fein title and direction.”
Mr O Braidaigh criticised the harassment of party election workers by the PSNI police during the campaign.
“As to the general results, the DUP is moving towards a monolithic Unionist Party such as existed up to the 1960s,” he said.
“With its increased vote it will impose even more humiliating terms on the Provisionals.
“The Provos, for their part, will go on to consolidate English rule here, to lead away from Irish national independence and secure lucrative positions of power for their leadership within the system.
“For Republican Sinn Fein the task must be to build support, to expose the direction of the Provisional leadership and the mis-use of the unionist population by their leaders and by unscrupulous English governments.”
Meanwhile, the official government body to monitor IRA activity has said the Provisional IRA no longer poses “a security threat”, but said so-called ‘dissident’ groups remained active.
The International Monitoring Commission (IMC) made the comments in its six-month report today.
In its 14th report the IMC said the ‘Real IRA’ was attempting to strengthen its capacities while the Continuity IRA -- linked to RSF was also active, including by firing shots at a PSNI base.
But the panel stressed the breakawy republican groups do not have the ability to mount a sustained campaign.
The report concluded: “Although we do not believe that any of the dissident republican organisations have the capacity to mount a sustained and serious terrorist campaign, and there have been law enforcement successes against them, they therefore pose a continuing threat.”