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Call for all armed groups to end their campaigns after ÓNH ceasefire

An Óglaigh na hÉireann show of strength in the Co Derry village of Park. Picture by Press Eye

VICTIMS, politicians and police have urged all armed groups to end their violent campaigns following Óglaigh na hÉireann's announcement of a ceasefire.

The Irish News revealed yesterday that the dissident group had decided to "suspend all armed actions against the British state" after concluding the "environment is not right for armed conflict" at this time.

The move was confirmed at a press conference involving public figures who helped broker the ceasefire, although they said there are no plans for decommissioning.

Óglaigh na hÉireann was at one stage the most active of the dissident republican organisations, carrying out a series of high-profile attacks including the attempted murder of Catholic police officer Peadar Heffron.

Its decision to call a halt to its campaign led to calls last night for others to follow suit.

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Kate Carroll, whose PSNI officer husband Stephen was murdered on duty by the Continuity IRA in Craigavon in 2009, said the announcement was a "step in the right direction".

"I wish that they would all lay down their arms and let people live their lives from here on in," she said.

"There hasn't been any forward movement, they have gotten absolutely nothing from the murder of my husband and Ronan Kerr and the maiming of Peadar Heffron."

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said there can be "no excuse or justification for the continued existence and operation of armed groups either unionist or republican", while SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said all dissident groups should "bow to the will of the Irish people".

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin also called on all others involved in violence and criminality to "follow suit and also stop immediately".

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