Wednesday 26 October 2016

Dissidents to launch New IRA-backed cross-border political party

Suzanne Breen

Published 24/09/2016 | 15:10

Dissident republican Colin Duffy
Dissident republican Colin Duffy

Dissident republicans will today launch a new political party aimed at challenging partition and bringing activists onto the streets in support of Irish unity.

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High-profile dissidents from both sides of the border are expected to gather for the launch in Newry.

The party, which will be strongly opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, is supported by New IRA prisoners in Roe Four in Maghaberry jail.

Previous Roe Four inmates include Colin Duffy, from Lurgan, and prominent Belfast dissidents Alex McCrory and Dee Fennell.

The party's policy on contesting elections and taking any seats if successful will be disclosed today.

The new group is supported by New IRA prisoners on E3 and E4 landings in Portlaoise prison.

The New IRA is the largest dissident paramilitary group. In the past five years, it has murdered two prison officers - Adrian Ismay and David Black - and PSNI officer Ronan Kerr.

The establishment of a political party is seen as a response to critics who say that dissident republicans have no political strategy.

The first public sign that dissidents were considering forming a party came at an Easter commemoration in Tyrone in March when former Tyrone IRA prisoner David Jordan said that a "political vehicle" must be built.

"The vehicle must be ideologically united on radical socialist republican objectives," he added.

"It must be capable of formulating and implementing both short-term and long-term objectives."

Belfast Telegraph

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