Northern Ireland

Dissident republicans threaten to continue targeting security forces in ‘New Year’ statement posted on walls in Dublin

New IRA statement appears on walls in Tallaght

Detective Chief Superintendent John Caldwell (Brian Lawless/PA)
Detective Chief Superintendent John Caldwell

The New IRA has claimed it will continue to target security force members, in a statement which has appeared on walls in Dublin.

It is understood the one-page ‘New Year’ statement was spotted in the Tallaght area of Dublin overnight on Sunday.

Signed T O’Neill, the latest statement, which is understood to be authentic, comes almost a year after the paramilitary group tried to kill senior PSNI officer John Caldwell in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Police officer shot in Omagh
DCI John Caldwell was shot by dissident republicans last February

Detective Chief Inspector Caldwell was left fighting for his life after being shot at a sports centre on the Killyclogher Road last February.

He remained in critical condition for several weeks but was later released from hospital.

Around 10 rounds were fired at Mr Caldwell by two gunmen as he packed footballs into his car after a youth soccer training session.

Several people have since been charged in connection with the attack.

A claim of responsibility later appeared on a wall in Derry and three men were subsequently charged in relation to that.

It is understood the appearance of the latest statement in Dublin is the first time such a communication has been delivered in this way outside the north.

In its statement the group referenced the “revival of republican commemorative events across the country by various groupings”, adding that “commemorations will not bring us one step closer to a united Ireland”.

The paramilitary organisation also warned it would continue to target members of the security forces.

“The IRA today reiterates its fight for Irish independence, in all forms that that might take,” it said.

“We have shown in the past 12 months that we still have the volunteers and the capability to target members of the crown forces where and when we see fit, we will continue to do so.”

The statement also refers to the “treatment of the occupied Palestinian people by the western backed Zionist Israeli army” and offers support for “all actions” against “colonialism and imperialism”.

Policing Board member Mark H Durkan.
Policing Board member and SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan.

SDLP Policing Board member Mark H Durkan said: “It’s depressing that while an organisation has expressed political views that many will concur with, their view on violence, on the use of violence as a means to achieve reunification of Ireland, is something that not many people will agree with at all.

“We have seen the cost of violence to society here in terms of lives lost and opportunity cost.”

Mr Durkan added: “They cite conflict, or solidarity with those in Palestine, again, many people will share their view on that, but as we see in those pictures the horror from Palestine across our screens, it’s a reminder to many of us of the damage that violence does.

“And the last thing any right-minded person wants is a return of violence to our streets.”