Northern Ireland news

New IRA urged to 'go away'

SDLP Policing Board member Dolores Kelly has urged the New IRA to go away

THE New IRA has faced calls to "go away" after it signalled its intention to continue with its armed campaign.

In a new-year statement to the Irish News the paramilitary group insisted it remains unbeaten.

The statement, which has also been circulated online, said a "battle of hearts and minds combined with dirty tricks, the targeting of families and young people while holding communities to ransom through career criminals and informers has added further to the conditions for armed struggle".

"Despite the war weariness myth perpetuated by the occupier the IRA has not been defeated," the statement said.

Last year two Derry men, Paddy McDaid and Joe Barr, who are charged in connection with a high profile MI5 led operation targeting at the New IRA, publicly disavowed the use of violence during separate bail hearings.

Mr McDaid was later granted bail while Mr Barr was refused.

He was later asked to leave the republican wing at Maghaberry Prison.

In its statement, which was signed T O'Neill, the paramilitary group said: "The leadership of the IRA wish to make it clear, while others may disavow and abandon the struggle and their comrades, we are far from beaten," it said.

The organisation claimed it is "capable of striking anywhere at any time".

In response to the statement, SDLP Policing Board member Dolores Kelly last night said "where is their political engagement?

"Who are they going to defeat, the Irish people? she asked.

"It sounds like some old boys rambling in the corner, we know they are still a threat but they have not garnered any support.

"They have been decimated over the last year with successful security force operations.

"Just go away and leave us alone."

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