Republican groups have no plans for ÓNH-style ceasefire
Two republican paramilitary groups have signalled that they have no plans to end their armed campaigns in the wake of Óglaigh na hÉireann’s ceasefire announcement.
Sources close to the ‘IRA’ - sometimes referred to as the New IRA - and Continuity IRA have both said they have no intention of laying down arms.
Óglaigh na hÉireann (ÓNH) emerged from a split with the Real IRA around a decade ago.
The organisation is not believed to have killed anyone during its campaign.
In 2012 the Real IRA merged with Republican Action Against Drugs and independent republicans to establish the ‘IRA’.
Since then it has been responsible for several gun and bomb attacks on the security forces and has killed two prison officers and a man it claimed was a drug dealer.
Sources close to that group last night said it will not be following Óglaigh na hÉireann into a ceasefire.
“Absolutely not, under no circumstances will (the IRA) be following suit,” the source said.
The Continuity IRA (CIRA), which killed police officer Stephen Carroll in Criagavon in 2009, also made the organisation’s position clear last night.
“There’s no intention of a ceasefire or engaging with trade union or government officials from Britain or Ireland,” it said.
“The movement is committed to the path it’s on.
“The IRA will continue to recruit, target and train.
“The IRA’s position is that they will continue to carry out attacks on members of the security forces as and when they see fit.”
The group said the ceasefire decision “is a matter for ÓNH".
“We are not going to try and second guess their reasons,” it said.
After the ceasefire announcement was reported by the Irish News on Tuesday, nationalist political leaders questioned the continued existence of armed groups.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said paramilitary groups “should now bow to the will of the Irish people”.
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.”
Óglaigh na hÉireann said it was suspending “all armed actions against the British state”.
The group also said it “will continue to protect our membership and base as we move forward in a spirit of united determination to achieve our political aims”.
Last year sources close the group said it was on “de facto ceasefire” and the last significant attempt to attack the security forces was in January 2017 when a roadside bomb left for the PSNI in Poleglass, on the outskirts of west Belfast, was defused by the British army.