A New Year statement attributed to the Real IRA has vowed to expand its ‘theatre of operations’ and claimed that the British state forces are failing to deal with the threat that it poses.
It promised to expand its campaign in 2011 to target British military, commercial, political and judicial targets.
In the past 12 months, the Real IRA carried out several bombings, but it has not inflicted any fatalities on Crown force personnal since it killed two British soldiers at Massereene in March 2009.
The Sunday Tribune quoted a statement by the ‘leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann’, understood to be the Real IRA Army Council.
It said: “In the year to come, the leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann will strive to expand the theatre of our operations in line with our strategy. We will continue to target institutions and personnel in the military, political, policing, justice and commercial and economic fields.”
The Real IRA, one of the two most active IRA breakaway groups, said it had learned from “past mistakes” which it didn’t detail.
“Those who actively engaged in the occupation of Ireland and those who assist this occupation are the enemies of the Irish people,” it said.
The statement said that continuing dissident attacks showed that the two governments’ policy of normalisation of life in the North had failed.
“In the past year, there has been no mistaking the fact that a conflict exists in occupied Ireland. The British, Free State, and colonial parliament in the six counties have collectively been unable to conceal or deal with this fact,” it said.
It dismissed raids by the Crown forces and the arrests and imprisonment of republican dissidents.
“None of the above measures have worked in the past, nor will they work now,” it said.
In a New Year message Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has said that Ireland today is at a crossroads with economic policies being pursued by two conservative governments in London and Dublin imposing significant hardship on citizens.
He said that despite difficulties, the Peace Process is delivering and that next May the North’s Executive and Assembly will completed their first full term, something that would would have been thought impossible only a few years ago.
Mr Adams said that Sinn Fein was the only alternative to the conservative political consensus in the South.
He said a united Ireland made economic and political sense and that Sinn Fein is committed to the sovereignty, independence and freedom of Ireland and the right of Irish people to build our own society.
The following is the full text of his message, followed by a statement from Sinn Fein Dail leader Caoimhghin O Caolain and a statement by the 32 County Sovereignty Committee.
STATEMENT BY SINN FEIN PRESIDENT GERRY ADAMS
Bliain ur faoi mhaise daoibh go leir.
I want to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful New Year.
Ireland today, North and South, is at a crossroads. The economic policies being pursued by two conservative governments in London and Dublin have imposed significant hardship on citizens.
Seasann muid leis na daoine ata ag fulaingt sa ghearcheim eacnamaiochta seo. Ta an da rialtas coimeadacha i mBaile Atha Cliath agus i Londain ag iarraidh an t-ualach ar fad a chur ar na gnathdaoine. Nil se sin ceart na cothrom agus leanfaidh Sinn Fein ag moladh bealach nios fearr.
The adverse impact on public services, the economy, and society in both parts of this island is evident. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are unemployed and emigration is again on the increase.
Sinn Fein is an Irish republican party. We are a United Ireland party. We believe it makes economic and political sense.
Sinn Fein is for the sovereignty, independence and freedom of the Irish people and the right of our people to build our own society. Sinn Fein is committed to delivering for citizens.
In pursuit of this we have agreed in the North a budget which aims to protect public services while seeking to grow the economy. Despite all of the difficulties the Peace Process is delivering and next May the Executive and Assembly will complete their first full term. This would have been thought impossible only a few years ago.
In the South Sinn Fein offers the only real alternative to the conservative consensus.We are putting forward practical policies to regenerate the economy; root and branch political reform aimed at producing a genuinely open and accountable form of Government which ends the notion of political elites and empowers Irish citizens; the proper use of Ireland’s natural resources for the common good; the protection and creation of jobs; ending the two-tier health and education systems and continued support for the Peace Process, the Good Friday Agreement and further outreach to the unionist community.
Ta Sinn Fein ag suil go mor leis an bhliain 2011. Mar pairti uile-Eireann beimid ag seasamh san Olltoghchan agus i dToghchan an Tionoil. Beimid ag ra leis an pobal Thuaidh agus Theas go bhfuil rogha acu chun todhchai nios fearr a chruthu leis an fis agus leis na polasaithe ata a chur chun cinn ag Sinn Fein.
2011 will present significant challenges. Sinn Fein is up to the task of meeting and overcoming them.
But for now I wish everyone a happy and peaceful New Year.
Adh mor agus dea-ghui do chach.
STATEMENT BY SINN FEIN DAIL LEADER CAOIMHGHIN O CAOLAIN
On behalf of Sinn Fein I extend New Year greetings to all, especially to those who are experiencing hardship in the current economic recession and in the follow-on to the recent harsh spell of weather.
We think especially of older people living alone and their continuing need for support after the festive season. A new factor this year is the increased number of young people who have had to emigrate, including those who were lucky enough to visit home for Christmas and who are now returning abroad. This is a terrible indictment of the failure of the political and economic system here.
We need the talent and enthusiasm of these young people to contribute to economic recovery. The least that can be done for them is that they be given the right to vote in this jurisdiction. Provision should be made for Irish citizens living outside the 26 Counties to vote in elections in this State, a right that is commonly exercised in states throughout the world.
If we are to have hope of social and economic recovery then we must make 2011 a year of real change. The first requirement of course is an early General Election and the removal of the Fianna Fail/Green Government. The election should take place in January.
Whenever the General Election takes place we in Sinn Fein are confident that we will return with a greater mandate, based on the strategy for recovery which we have put forward and which has won significant and increasing support.
Real change must go beyond removing the current Government and electing a new administration. We need fundamental policy change, something which a Fine Gael/Labour Government has no prospect of delivering. They are still part of the Consensus for Cuts.
Real change can only come about through people power with individual citizens, the community and voluntary sector, the trade unions, campaigning groups and parties of the left combining to push for progressive demands. These include the total rejection of the IMF/EU deal, an end to the current deranged banking policy and the establishment of a viable State bank, a coherent job creation strategy, taxation justice and the protection of vital public services and of the pay and working conditions of workers in both the private and public sectors.
Sinn Fein will campaign ever more vigorously in support of these demands and we look forward with confidence to 2011 as a year when progress can and will be made.
Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhaoibh go leir.
STATEMENT BY THE 32 COUNTY SOVEREIGNTY COMMITTEE
We commend our activists for their diligence and hard work in attempting to secure the integrity of our national sovereignty. We applaud the efforts of others who struggle likewise under their own chosen banner. We send New Year greetings to republican POW’s and their families and rededicate ourselves to their service.
2010 was a year which laid bare the harsh realities of our struggle. In protest against the degradation of strip searching and its vindictive use republican POW’s embarked on a series of actions in protest against the Stormont’s regime’s deliberate policy of attacking republican prisoners. Matched on the outside by regular vigils and marches the political opposition which was generated forced the authorities into negotiations.
With the use of agreed independent arbiters an agreement was reached to the satisfaction of all. However the authorities have resumed their original policy of using strip searching to degrade the prisoners. This was a political decision which has implications for all republicans. An attack on one prisoner is an attack on all prisoners and demands a unified response from all republican organisations. Our resolve must at least match that of the prisoners if we are to successfully confront Stormont’s prison policy.
The recent disclosure of State papers clearly shows that the issue of republican prisoners was a cornerstone in British strategy to undermine our struggle. They clearly show how Dublin also collaborated to achieve the same end. This collaboration now has an added dimension in that former comrades are now part of the British establishment in Ireland. That establishment takes it for granted that its members collaborate in the wider British interest. We openly call on the PSF leadership to come clean and to stop talking out of both sides of their mouths. It is your regime which is inflicting this degradation on republican prisoners. Is this your so called peaceful alternative to Irish unity? It is your actions that define you, not your words, overt or otherwise.
2010 also witnessed seismic events in economic terms. Fianna Fail’s self serving economics led the State to bankruptcy. It bailed out bankers and developers and levied the bill on ordinary citizens. They privatised profits and socialised losses. They surrendered their so called sovereignty to the International Monetary Fund all the while denying it in drunken interviews to the people. But the real issue for republicans and socialists is that our protests failed to impact on events. The crisis in capitalism, which should have opened up so many opportunities for our cause, was duly addressed by capitalism itself. This is the reality we must face and we must face it pragmatically.
2011 must be a year of introspection and innovation. We must look at ourselves and address our failings. What went before has reached its zenith. We need to explore and devise new ways of getting our message across. We need to be more innovative in our protests. We can no longer be satisfied that our protests simply happen: they must also have meaningful effect.
We address young republicans everywhere; this is your time, it is your era, your society, your technological age, you need to lead the way on this front. Irish society has evolved a new language in which it communicates with itself and we need to learn it. Republicanism needs your ideas to advance. Our communities have the expectation of new initiatives to assist them. We need to demonstrate to our people that our aims are relevant to their everyday lives and represent an enrichment of society.
The continued violation of our national sovereignty has led to the inevitable consequence of armed struggle. Those who are engaging in military operations against British occupation have every right to do so, as they always had throughout our history. The function of the Sovereignty Movement is not to question this right nor question the merits of invoking it but to address the cause which makes it inevitable. This we will continue to do in whatever way we deem to be progressive. Treating the Irish Republican Army as a militia is a deeply flawed approach. Predicating a peace strategy on the exclusion of Irish national rights is doomed to failure.
The 32 County Sovereignty Movement reaffirms our commitment to seeking an end to British Parliamentary activity in our country. The divisions amongst our people can only begin to be resolved when Westminster and its many agendas are finally removed.