A crude propaganda exercise by the British Crown forces backfired this week when it emerged that damage to a vehicle exhibited at a press conference had been almost entirely faked by British Army operatives.
A blast device thrown at a PSNI patrol in the New Lodge area of north Belfast on Tuesday night caused no injuries and minimal damage. The attack was the first of its kind on the PSNI for several months.
However, pictures of a car taken at the press conference showed a large hole in the front windscreen. The car was put on display to journalists and photographers, but no mention was made of the real cause of the damage.
It later emerged that a picture taken shortly after the explosion showed several police officers standing beside a car which had only a very small hole in a windscreen cracked by shrapnel.
The PSNI was later forced to admit the vast majority of the damage was in fact caused by British operatives.
CIRA SHOW OF STRENGTH
Meanwhile, pictures have appeared online of Volunteers of the Continuity IRA on patrol on the streets of Lurgan, County Armagh, armed with assault rifles.
Comments on a Republican Sinn Fein web page described the men as being “on the lookout for England’s armed colonial police, the RUC/PSNI and undercover British soldiers”.
It described Lurgan as a stanchly Republican area “where there would be a lot of support for the Continuity IRA” and other militant organisations.
“Due to their support for these organizations and their rejection of Crown Occupation, the Lurgan community is forced to undergo continued harassment at the hands of the PSNI/RUC and the British Army, who daily target the area hovering over the houses in their police helicopters or military spotter planes.”
The claimed the Continuity IRA as “the only army in Ireland with unbroken continuity with the first and second Dail Eireann [Irish parliaments] and have never accepted partition, and are constituted as such with their Volunteers under oath of allegiance to the All-Ireland Republic.”
The problem in the North is not violence, the statement read, the problem is the British presence there: “Those who continue to resist that problem have every right to do so. The same right the men, women and youth of 1916 had, even tho they did not have the support of the people of Ireland at the time.”