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Splinter group set to re-form despite threats

A REPUBLICAN splinter group whose members have been targeted by criminal rivals is trying to re-form, only three months after it disbanded.

Irish Republican Voice (IRV), which is led by Rathfarnham man James McDonagh, is on a recruitment drive after the organisation was previously torn apart by in-fighting.

McDonagh (36), who has been officially warned by detectives that there is an active threat against his life, has established a new cuman in Dublin.

ACTIVISTS

He and some of his associates have fallen foul of criminal gangs and other dissident republicans.

In a statement to the

“We will endeavour to grow the organisation, and to that end we have been in touch with like-minded republicans and political activists in a number of counties with a view of establishing a truly 32-county political alternative to the current establishment.”

Sources say the activities of the group will be closely monitored by the garda’s Special Detective Unit.

Republican sources say McDonagh, who was a close pal of murdered Real IRA boss Alan Ryan, “isolated” some other members of the IRV because of “his tactics”.

Gardai have been working on the theory that a republican who was shot at outside his Ballyfermot home early last month was targeted because he was pals with McDonagh and other IRV members.

Darren Whelan (26) is believed to be making a good recovery after he was shot in the back by a lone gunman in Lally Road, Ballyfermot, at 8.40pm on April 2.

Mr Whelan, who is not classified as a criminal, has regularly been spotted in the company of former associates of Ryan, including at fundraising events.

protests

Detectives believe he was targeted because of who his friends are.

The IRV took part in several protests in Dublin over the past year, including one outside the Dail which led to scuffles with gardai.

For the year that it was previously in place, the IRV was seen as the political wing of a new armed group calling itself Saoirse na hEireann, which was blamed for shootings in North Dublin.

This group was also stood down in February.

kfoy@herald.ie


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