“Members of the group are described as experienced Provisional militants.”

There were earlier reports that “a group of disgruntled republicans recently believed to have defected” from the Provisional IRA “mainstream IRA” could have been responsible for the recent murder of Constable Ronan Kerr.  Although I can’t find the link, I seem to recall Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness denying any such recent “leakage”.

Today, various newsites are reporting a Belfast Telegraph exclusive that a “newly-formed dissident Republican group” have admitted to the murder.  The BBC have a response from DUP leader, Peter Robinson. From the breakingnews.ie report

A report in today’s Belfast Telegraph newspaper says a newly formed group made up of former members of the IRA have claimed responsibility for the attack.

The newspaper said it had seen a statement from the group in which it threatened a campaign of violence to try to end what it “British occupation”.

Members of the group are described as experienced militants. They claim that the peace process has failed and that they have taken over the mantle of the IRA.

According to the statement given to the Belfast Telegraph, the group calls itself the IRA and it does not regard its members as dissidents.

The story doesn’t appear to be online yet at the Belfast Telegraph.  But there is an editorial.

Some veteran Provos, active during the Troubles, have now returned to violence, claiming the murder of Ronan Kerr, the young PSNI officer blown up by a booby-trap bomb under his car in Omagh, as well as helping dissident groups in previous high-profile murders and attempted killings.

The concern from a security viewpoint is that these are experienced terrorists who can carry out acts of violence on their own or lend their expertise to the dissident groups.

They have rejected the peace process – their political philosophy is that of the green-tinted fanatics, that the British can be forced out of Ireland through violence. They are unwilling to learn from the republican failures of history or to accept that the majority of former Provos and Sinn Fein have embraced democracy.

They are also unmoved by the huge cross-community groundswell of anger at the death of Constable Kerr.

There is now an onus on Sinn Fein and the former leadership of the Provisional IRA to tell the police what they know about these new dissidents to prevent further bloodshed.

There is a “specialist team of detectives” in place to target those returning militants.

Now that “Adams and the forces of the British Crown in Ireland are entirely united…”

Adds  From the UTV report

“These are not teenagers, these are not youths who don’t know what they’re doing – they are veteran, hardened Provisional IRA activists who are very, very determined and say that they are just going to do now what they’d done before for the Provisional IRA,” [Suzanne Breen] added.

Those responsible for the Omagh under-car bomb attack three weeks ago, in which Constable Kerr lost his life, are now understood to be “very senior” former Provisional IRA men. They’re believed to range in age from their 30s to their 50s.

“They now say that they are totally disillusioned with the peace process and they are committed to armed struggle,” Ms Breen said.

“They don’t see themselves as dissident – they say, while they work with the existing dissident groups such as the Real IRA, Óglaigh na hÉireann and the Continuity IRA, they are mainstream republicans. They actually call themselves the IRA.”

And, from the Slugger archive, “they are doing nothing which the Provisionals didn’t do before them and with the same political rationale”.

Further  There was the recent attempted deviation from the 1998 Agreement…

Update  The Belfast Telegraph report is now online.

In what represents a major split and breakaway in Provisional ranks, they said they had watched as the peace process failed to deliver republican goals, and they had now taken on the mantle of the mainstream 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.”


With members across Northern Ireland, the group is led from Belfast, after which they are strongest in Lurgan, Tyrone and south Armagh. They claimed they 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 claimed “minimum reforms proposed by Patten” and the name change for the police had not altered policing.

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

And the Irish Times notes

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said the report of the new group appeared rather “bizarre” and neither he nor his Sinn Féin colleagues had any information about such an organisation composed of former Provisional IRA members.

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

Well, that’s all right then…

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  • Munsterview

    Mick, just in, a quick response.

    One : I have made it perfectly clear at all times that I accept editorial decisions whether I agree with them or otherwise irrespective of whether they apply to me or others.

    Two : despite what often are quite lengthy postings, I personally have had few post deletions, which would indicate that I stay within the general expected parameters with the material I submit, polemic as it may be from time to time.

    Three : so far I have not got a card of any color which again indicates that I personally attempt to observe the site ethos, or, at least that I am not gratuitously offensive.

    Four : my issue is with a minority of posts from the same predictable sources that consistently are dismissive or disrespectful of other posters they disagree with in personally abusive terms.

    There is a dichotomy here if you are upholding standards, some of this stuff is beyond carding, yes the delete button would seem to be the answer. However the attitude behind such bile postings have not changed and ‘taking it down’ is in fact concealing the extent of the problem.

    Those infamous face painted photos of the teenage girls from last year’s Orange Parade is a perfect example of this dichotomy : the pictures as published undoubtedly did give offense to quite a few Catholic / Nationalist readers, but publication also allowed the acknowledgement that this sectarianism was in open display and tolerated by all in authority at that OO parade.

    The ensuing debate was useful and enlightening!

    Sometimes the best way to deal with certain kinds of offenders, in my personal view, is not to cover the extent of their transgressions by deletion, but to give them enough rope to hang themselves by thoroughly exposing themselves for what they are.

    There will not be ‘a race to the bottom’ if the abuse is unilateral and a response is not fore-coming, at least not in the same way or terms as the abusive post content. However that is editorial decision and ethos, which as I pointed out I accept.

    Finally the consistent efforts to make me ‘take up my bed and walk’ from slugger have not come from the blatantly abusive, rather they have come from the politely insistent and restrained that are perfectly happy with what they would like to see as a cosy consensus of ‘acceptable opposites’. It is they who have tried to label me ‘racist’ or ‘sectarian’ or otherwise wrong-foot me with editorial to try to impose a silence by stealth what they could not refute or achive in open argument!

    This for me is far more subtle and insidious form of abuse and disrespecting than the blatant and crude ‘in your face’ varity from those of less artfull polemic secmantics.

    Tonight wearing another hat I attended a theater show on a centuries old Irish historical event where I was invited to address the audience and make a presentation by theater management immediately after the show. The cast were over from England, content of the show could be described as Anti-English and sectarian because it faitfully depicted the Irish persons and period concerned.

    Sometimes history is just that, starkly brutal and no ammount of window dressing or massaging can change those raw facts!

  • between the bridges

    ah MV me auld mucker at last something we have in common! deleted posts yet no cards? so how does that work? our post ant bad enough for a card but are bad enough to be deleted? what a wonderfully fair system…lmao

  • between the bridges

    ps apologies mick me pishd and forgot it your party….deleet as per usual…cheers lad

  • Mick Fealty


    You’re discounting the opportunity cost of letting people hang themselves on a long rope. I wish I could sit on Slugger and ‘chair’ all the debates, but mouths must be fed, and there is no money in that. So I have to trust to self discipline, and if that fails, yellow and red cards.

    “Finally the consistent efforts to make me ‘take up my bed and walk’ from slugger have not come from the blatantly abusive, rather they have come from the politely insistent and restrained that are perfectly happy with what they would like to see as a cosy consensus of ‘acceptable opposites’.”

    If you mean consensus on politics, I am one hundred per cent behind you. If you mean that you should have carte blanche to talk about what ever you want to talk about, then I am not.

    For instance, I’ve seen you post on science stories on political threads, merely because it was started by Pete. That’s a fairly unsubtle form of distraction posting. In normal times, I’d merely remove it, but perhaps it makes sense to flag it as an abuse of the commenting privilege here, and card that kind of behaviour in future?

  • Munsterview

    Mick : re science etc postings, noted !

    Like most busy people I rely on news digests on science, finance, astronomy and other fields to keep abreast of events and developments. Occasionally I cite references on slugger where the material is exceptional, or as in Pete’s space pieces, where there is already a thread dedicated to this activity.

    Any such material was not posted as a ‘distraction posting per se’ or at least that was not my intent, going by the comments others are also are interested in these things. However fair observation from an editorial point of view, it do detract and diffuse from political comment focus, the primary purpose of the site.

    “If you mean consensus on politics,”…… It is exactly what I claimed ‘acceptable opposites’ where all disagreements are conducted inside a formalistic, polite exchange where ‘a spade is called anything but a spade’ and any challenge to these attitudes or ‘cosy, coy exchanges’ is resented.

    This slugger attitude among some of the ‘self regarding slugger stars’ reminds me of the position of Sinn Fein during the seventies in the South, about the only thing that the professional politicians, pundits and commentators could always agree on was that they did not want ‘A Shinner’ around the place.

    Finally with regard to the new ‘dissident threat’, Republican Militants operate inside a certain political ethos. There is a passionate interest and knowledge of history that go to construct and maintain this ethos. I have tried to give some insights into this Nationalist / Republican view and when concentrating on individual parts of it such as the murder of Moynihan and the disappearance of his body by the R IC. it is necessary to go into detail.

    I spoke to a IRA veteran in New York in 1976 and even back then I was concerned about a post ceasefire situation and the psychological problems that could exist for former Volunteers, so I asked him how he psyched himself up to shoot his first RIC man. His answer was simple….. I thought of John Twiss and Moynihan, nothing else!

    Without some appreciation of our full history and not just the sanitized version, there can be no appreciation as to where these people are coming from.

    The arguments for or against a continuing Armed Response to the political situation is another matter and needs to be debated on it’s own merits. Well over a year ago I warned that events with political prisoners were causing Republican re engagement in physical force, the demands at that time could have been accommodated, but instead confrontation was the preferred option and concessions when eventually made were as usual too little, too late. We are now where we are with this one !

  • Munsterview

    Since my “Munsterview (profile) 27 April 2011 at 6:11 p.m. Spook interference with posting ?”,
    I have had sixty-seven trouble free hours of mobile broadband connection !

    Prior to this publication of the….’ connection terminated by remote site ‘…… notice, I had dozens of disconnections in the previous days. These ‘terminations’ are usually clustered around postings exposing ‘spook’ past or current activity.

    Amazingly co-incidental that when I claimed spook interference and shone a spotlight on this activity that all my ‘ connection terminated by remote site ‘ problems should instantly vanish?

    This activity should be highlighted and investigated further as it is ‘spook’ unconstitutional interference with free speech and expression in slugger and elsewhere