A new IRA?
A new IRA?

A group of former Provisional IRA members have declared that they will continue the armed struggle until a united Ireland is achieved.

In what may be the formation of a new breakaway IRA group, a Belfast newspaper was told that IRA units had watched as the peace process failed to deliver, but they had now taken on the mantle of the IRA.

“The will of Irish republicans to resist the forced occupation and partitioning of our country has not been defeated,” they said.

“Irish republicans have continued to organise against the British presence in our country. We continue to do so under the name of the Irish Republican Army. We are the IRA.”

The Belfast Telegraph said it had seen a statement at a meeting with a representative of the new organisation’s chief of staff. Sentences and paragraphs from the alleged statement have since emerged in newspaper reports.

The claims came as a series of attacks, alerts, raids and arrests intensified across the North. In the most serious incident, a PSNI police unit narrowly avoided triggering a trip-wire attached to an improvised explosive device in south Belfast early on Tuesday.

It was reported the new organisation is entirely separate from the other breakaway groups - the ‘Real IRA’, Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH), and the Continuity IRA. However, the group was said to be “committed to working with other republicans”.

It claimed “the recent execution of the RUC member in Omagh”, a reference to the limpet-mine attack which killed PSNI (formerly RUC) police recruit Ronan Kerr three weeks ago.

It also claimed involvement in a similar attack which seriously injured another PSNI man last year, as well as the bombing of the Policing Board headquarters in Belfast 18 months ago. Both of these attacks have previously been linked to the Oglaigh na hEireann group.

The new organisation said they were committed to more killings and bombings and “bringing our struggle to a successful conclusion through military operations.”

It had given the Good Friday Agreement an opportunity and had watched to see if “a peaceful route toward independence and national liberation would emerge”. Instead, republicans had experienced “scores of broken promises”. The agreement had not ended British occupation nor created “an Ireland of equals” as Sinn Fein had promised.

They said “minimum reforms proposed by Patten”, including and the name change for the police, had not altered policing.

The new grouping also claimed that not one security law enacted during the conflict had been repealed and new, even tougher laws on stop and search, and arrest and detention had been introduced.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the reports of the new group were “bizarre”. Neither he nor Sinn Fein had any information about the organisation.

“What we can say with certainty is that they are not the IRA; the IRA is history,” he said.

He called on anyone with information about the group to pass it to the PSNI or Garda police.


News of the group emerged in advance of the annual republican Easter commemorations, although it was not clear if the two events were related.

A number of ‘dissident’ commemorations have been held around the country, but for the first time in decades, no IRA group appears to have marked the anniversary with a statement to their supporters. Further commemorations are due to be held on Easter Monday.

The Dublin government marked the event with a recitation of the Proclamation of 1916 -- a famous assertion of Irish sovereignty -- inducing cringes in the audience of government officials and members of the public outside the GPO in Dublin.

At a Sinn Fein Easter commemoration on Sunday, the Six-County Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness denounced all dissident republican violence.

Addressing the 1916 commemoration in County Derry, the North’s Deputy First Minister said the “small factions” currently engaging in armed actions “are not the IRA and they are not advancing national and democratic objectives by their activities.”

He insisted the Irish people had united behind the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, supported the 2006 St Andrews Agreement as well as last year’s Hillsborough Agreement.

He warned dissident republican groups: “Attempting to overturn the will of the Irish people is not only futile, it is stupid and selfish.

“Ireland can now only be reunited by the further development and outworking of the power sharing and all-Ireland institutions which were endorsed by the Irish people in the referendum in 1998.

“No act of violence will advance the cause of reunification by one millimetre. It is patently not possible to advance towards Irish reunification by any means other than peaceful and democratic processes. Those who believe that Ireland can be reunited without the support of the Irish people are living in a fool’s paradise.”

Citing the signatories of the Proclamation 95 years ago, Mr McGuinness said: “We are for the removal of partition, the end of British jurisdiction in Ireland and the reunification of our nation and, in the words of Padraic Pearse, the people are the nation.”

However, he backed the (Provisional) IRA’s campaign, praising those who were involved in it.

“The IRA fought a long guerrilla war in these hills and in towns and cities and villages across the North for over 30 years. The IRA forced the British government to the negotiating table.”

The following is a list of the comments attributed to the new IRA group which appeared in newspapers over the weekend.

* “As Irish republicans, we are engaged in bringing our struggle to a successful conclusion through military operations such as the recent execution of the RUC member in Omagh.”

* “We continue to (organise) under the name of the Irish Republican Army. We are the IRA.”

* “Our reason for existing remains the same as it always has been under British occupation. Wo have no desire to engage In war for war’s sake, nor are we under any illusions about the strength of British military might.”

* “Our armed actions directed against military targets will highlight both nationally and internationally the injustice we face as a consequence of the forced occupation of our country.”

* “To allow the travesty that is the Good Friday Agreement to continue unchallenged is to inflict conflict on a future generation of Irish republicans.”

* “The conflict for Irish freedom and self-determination will be completed by this generation of Irish republicans. We will leave a legacy of nation-building to future generations, not a legacy of unfinished conflict.”

* “We are committed to working with republicans who share the same analysis that Britain will not leave Ireland of its own volition.”

* “Britain is not now and never has been an honest broker. Rather [it] is the source of our conflict.”

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2011 Irish Republican News