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Statement describes recent claim as ‘bogus’

CIRA didn’t murder Kieran

By Francesca Ryan

The Continuity IRA have denied claims that they were behind the murder of West Belfast man Kieran McManus.

The 26-year-old delivery man was gunned down outside Dominos Pizza on Kennedy Way at the end of March.

In the wake of the murder, the CIRA said they shot the father-of-one for “terrorising the community with hatchets, knives and swords”.  At the time we reported that the claim was rubbished in republican circles as it is widely believed that those behind the killing are not in the CIRA but have close links to a senior member of a splinter organisation in Belfast using the same name.

The Belfast group claiming to be CIRA are a splinter group that parted company with the majority CIRA faction in recent years over claims of criminal activity. The split originated in Limerick and as a result they are also referred to as the Limerick faction. That Belfast CIRA group has itself split and as a result there is no CIRA group operating in the city.

A new statement from the Irish Republican Publicity Bureau confirms our story, calling the CIRA claim “bogus”.

“In its recent Easter statement, the leadership of the republican movement warned of the existence of a tiny splinter group based in Limerick which had for three years stolen the name of the republican movement and of the Continuity IRA,” reads the statement.

“Two events since Easter make the point. A week after the shooting dead of a man at Kennedy Way, Belfast, a bogus claim was issued saying that the Continuity IRA was responsible. Denials published by that body are ignored, thus fulfilling the splinter group’s intention.”

We have reported that a renegade band of hoods, some of whom were expelled from the INLA for criminal activity, was in fact behind the murder of the father-of-one.

Exposed and panicked by the prospect of a revenge attack, the killers had the splinter CIRA group claim the attack to send out a message.

“There is a close connection between a senior member of the group claiming to be CIRA here and a member of the gang believed to be involved in the murder of Kieran McManus,” said our source at the time. “So basically the CIRA, who have been off-radar in Belfast for a long time, has come out of retirement to lend its offices to this murder.

“This development is just to muddy the waters. It’s intended to deflect from those who actually were involved in the killing, or to send out the message to anyone thinking of retaliating that ‘You’re now dealing with CIRA.’”

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