Irish Republican News · September 16, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Intentions of armed groups in media focus

A number of hidden cameras found in trees overlooking the headquarters of British military intelligence in Ireland may have been planted by a republican armed group, according to reports.

The spy cameras were likely used to gather intelligence on people and vehicles passing through Palace Barracks in Holywood, County Down, according to sources quoted by the Belfast Telegraph and the London-based Guardian newspaper.

MI5 chiefs last week had 20 trees chopped down outside the Holywood, County Down base after the discovery of four hidden cameras just yards from where a large bomb exploded in April.

It was claimed that Oglaigh na hEireann -- the breakaway IRA organisation behind the car bomb - may use the recordings to target MI5 agents involved in the subversive war with dissident republicans.

Meanwhile, there have been conflicting reports in the establishment media regarding peace talks involving another of the breakaway groups, the Real IRA.

The Belfast-based Irish News this week claimed the organisation observed an unofficial nine-month ceasefire to engage in secret negotiations with the Dublin government over prisoner releases.

It was claimed negotiations over prisoner releases began in November 2005, just two months after the Provisional IRA completed decommissioning, but collapsed nine months later following British demands for a ceasefire statement.

Meanwhile, the Guardian claimed that a Real IRA source had now ruled out such negotiations.

The Real IRA ‘source’ told them that “there are no talks with either the British government or the Free State Administration.

“The IRA is not unwilling to talk, in fact there needs to be talks ... however, talks need to deal with the root cause of the conflict, namely the illegal British occupation of Ireland. We are mindful, though, that the history of such approaches from the British has been characterised by a lack of integrity, a lack of willingness to address the causes of conflict, and has been motivated by a self-serving agenda.”

The ‘source’ added that future attacks would alternate between the “military, political and economic targets” and mentioned, in particular, British banks.

“Realistically, it is important to acknowledge that we have regrouped and reorganised and emerged from a turbulent period in republican history.

“We have already shown our capacity to launch attacks on the British military, judicial, and policing infrastructure. As we rebuild, we are confident that we will increase the volume and effectiveness of attacks,” the organisation said.

On the political front the ‘source’ dismissed Sinn Fein’s claims that its electoral strategy would ultimately yield a united Ireland.

He insisted, however, that support for the Real IRA was building and they had turned away hundreds of young disaffected nationalists because they didn’t have the capacity to absorb so many members.

“From the point of view of republican communities, there is still a heavily armed British police force that casually uses plastic baton rounds, CS gas and Tasers, carry out house raids, stop and search operations and general harassment.

“There’s still a 5,000-strong British army garrison, a new MI5 HQ in Belfast, and a British secretary of state. Republican communities are still subjected to sectarian parades and the right to protest is being met with intimidation and violence.”

Sinn Fein’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also came in for strong criticism after he claimed that he had knowledge that the breakaway groups were holding secret discussions with the two governments.

“Martin McGuinness is a British Crown minister who has a vested interest in causing mischief among republicans. His job is to administer the Queen of England’s writ in Ireland ... However, if he has any evidence to back up his claims, he should make it public,” he said.

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