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Killing threat as RIRA hits back in drug rackets

THE Real IRA has threatened "executions" of Dublin criminals who use the group's name to extort cash.

In a chilling message, delivered in the newsletter of the group's political wing, the dissidents' Dublin unit has threatened to declare war on criminals who extort money from drug dealers under the RIRA banner.

In the statement, delivered in the newsletter of the Dublin branch of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the RIRA said its warnings were not "idle threats".

The influence of the RIRA has been growing in the capital in recent times and it has been involved in a bloody feud with established Dublin drug gangs over the past 12 months.

A RIRA cell in north Dublin has been extorting money from drug dealers and running a large-scale pub protection racket.

The cell claimed responsibility for the murders of Collie Owens (34) and low-level drug dealer Sean Winters (40) in Dublin last year.

It has also been behind a number of other gun attacks in the capital and is believed to be carrying out the orders of a high-level member of the RIRA from Tallaght.

In the statement from the Dublin brigade of the RIRA, it warned that criminal thugs claiming to act under its authority would be dealt with severely.

"The IRA in Dublin has become aware that criminals masquerading as republicans are using the name of the IRA to intimidate and extort money," the statement reads.

"The Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army does not tolerate criminality or the dragging of our name into the mud by criminal lowlifes.

"We have established the identities of the individuals perpetrating these acts.

"Some of the men engaging in this criminality claim to be representing a republican organisation.

"The behaviour they are engaged in is not becoming of any genuine republican and their grouping must now decide whether they will cease their activities or incur the punishment that is coming should they continue.

"We have shown that we do not make idle threats.

"The executions of drug dealers by the volunteers of the IRA have been carried out because they refused to cease their activities.

"Those attempting to portray themselves as soldiers would do well to recognise that should they refuse to heed this warning that there will not be a second.

"If we carry out an operation that results in the execution of a drug dealer we do not hide the fact.

"We salute our volunteers and supporters for their resilience in the face of this criminal onslaught."

A group calling itself the Criminal Action Force which claims to represent Dublin drug gangs being targeted by the RIRA last year threatened to carry out gun attacks against the republicans.

The group was set up to counter a RIRA extortion gang run by two brothers in north Dublin which has been trying to extort money from Dublin's leading criminals.

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The two brothers were members of the Continuity IRA but now operate under the umbrella of the RIRA.

They have claimed responsibility for two murders in the capital this year and are understood to be behind a number of assassination attempts.

The group has claimed responsibility for the murder of Colm 'Collie' Owens, who was shot up to 10 times as he worked at an animal feed store in Finglas in July.

The RIRA gang also claimed to be responsible for the murder of low-level drug dealer Sean Winters, who was shot dead by masked assassins outside his apartment in Portmarnock in September.

hnews@herald.ie


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