The New IRA has issued a New Year statement in which it said it looked forward to a consolidation of the struggle against the British occupation and “vowed to meet force with force”.
In a statement released to the media on January 8, the New IRA statement read: “The leadership of the Irish Republican Army sends greetings to its imprisoned volunteers and their families and wishes them a peaceful future.
“We send messages of solidarity and pledges of continued struggle to the men and woman in jail in the Occupied Six Counties and the Free State.
“Your sacrifices and the sacrifices made by your families over difficult and long periods will be rewarded with the justice you deserve - freedom in the Socialist Republic.
“Against a background of the British government and its proxies stamping their authority on Ireland by force, we in the IRA intend meeting force with force.”
They concluded: “Finally, we look forward to a successful 2020 and to consolidation of the struggle against the illegal British occupation and all that it entails.”
The organisation also again offered its “full and sincere apologies” to the partner and family and friends of Lyra McKee for her death. Ms McKee, a freelance journalist, died during a riot in Derry in April last year after being struck by a bullet aimed at a PSNI armoured vehicle.
“Our Volunteers have been instructed to take the utmost care in future when engaging the enemy and we have put in place measures to ensure this,” they said.
In a statement issued by Republican Sinn Féin, the organisation extended “fraternal New Year greetings” to friends and supporters at home and abroad.
“The coming year is one that will see several important centenaries of momentous events in Irish revolutionary history. It is also a year that presents opportunities to advance discussion of a New Ireland”. However, they claimed that “not one of the constitutional nationalist parties possess a coherent plan” for debates on the matter.
“The coming year is one ripe for Irish Republicanism to make a proactive lead in such a debate as we possess in Éire Nua a credible alternative structure for a post-British-withdrawal Ireland.
“Not for the first time, the leadership of unionism has been led up the garden path by the British Conservative establishment as it furthers its own selfish agenda.... We say to the unionist/loyalist community that now is the time to take their place in meaningful discussions about their future in a New Ireland. We invite them to bring their ideas to the table just as we will bring ours.”