RSF blasts appeal for ‘informers’
RSF blasts appeal for ‘informers’

Republican hardliners have accused Sinn Fein of telling “Irish people to become informers”.

Republican Sinn Fein was responding to accusations by mainstream republicans that the Continuity IRA, Real IRA, INLA and Oglaigh Na hEireann were involved in extortion and intimidation.

Senior mainstream republicans, in a reported media briefing, called on nationalists to tell the PSNI police about so-called “dissident” activities.

Many ordinary republicans have continued to resist cooperation with the PSNI, which remains a British police force under the authority of the Crown.

Republican Sinn Fein, which is connected to the Continuity IRA, blasted the media briefings.

“The RUC/PSNI and the word republican are a contradiction in terms. How dare these people tell Irish people to become informers to the same British armed force of occupation who with the help of former republicans still occupy our country?” a statement read.

The republican sources, who do not wish to be named, said people were being urged to supply information to the PSNI against what were described as “criminal gangs”.

“We need to strip away the historical reluctance to engage with the PSNI,” according to one source.

“This has nothing to do with republicanism and as such people should not be afraid to pass on information to the PSNI.

“We need to demystify what is going on and to address this terror. Passing on information to the police about these criminal gangs is not informing. It has nothing to do with republicanism.”

But Geraldine Taylor of Republican Sinn Fein yesterday said “the RUC” had caused “death and misery to many republicans through the use of informers, collusion and even murder”.

“It’s hard to believe the so-called ‘senior republicans - who we notice did not give their names - would risk the lives of innocent people who were encouraged to be informers for the RUC, the armed wing of British rule in the six counties,” she said.

“We believe the time has come for these people to drop the name Sinn Fein and no longer claim to be the republican movement.

“Now that these people have gone as low as they can go, we in Republican Sinn Fein have no intention of touting to the Brits or abandoning the ideals of the republican movement for which so many people gave their lives.”

* A man who had just finished a jail term for drugs offences was shot dead in a gangland-style attack in Derry this week. No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack, although there have been claims by the DUP that republicans were involved.

Jim McConnell died in hospital after being shot several times in the chest by masked men who burst into his home. Sinn Fein’s Raymond McCartney condemned the shooting, which he said was “a criminal act and cannot be dressed up as anything else”.

* Sean Garland, a former leader of the Official IRA wanted in the US over a dollar counterfeiting operation, has been granted bail ahead of his extradition hearing.

In the High Court in Dublin, the judge ordered the 74-year-old to surrender the title deeds to his home in County Meath where he has lived with his wife and daughter for 20 years. The veteran republican, who is being treated for cancer, a heart condition and diabetes, was also told to hand in his passport and sign on every day at his local Garda police station.

* A number of homes were raided by the PSNI in the Dungannon and Donaghmore areas of County Tyrone last week, and six republicans were taken to the Antrim Barracks for interrogation. However, all were released within 24 hours, leading to claims by RSF that the raids were “merely for show”.

* There was widespread traffic disruption in west Belfast on Tuesday when the Falls Road was closed off for several hours while a British Army bomb-disposal unit made safe three small, finger-like devices. The devices, one of which was reported to have contained nails, were blamed on the Continuity IRA.

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© 2009 Irish Republican News