T he Irish Volunteers (IV) have announced that the armed group is to stand down in Belfast.
In a statement released to the Andersonstown News last night (Wednesday), the group said that it will no longer exist as of midnight, in accordance with demands made by óglaigh na héireann.
“From midnight tonight, all units of the Belfast Brigade of the Irish Volunteers will cease operations and cease to exist, as instructed by óglaigh na héireann,” they said in a statement.
“We understand that the creation of another armed group, while our intentions were honourable, does more harm to the cause than good as other more credible militant groups already exist.
“We would like to thank all our supporters and activists who stood by us throughout our existence.”
News that the IV have been put out of business comes just weeks after the group declared war on drug dealers in the district. As we exclusively reported in early January, the paramilitary group said its ‘anti-drug unit’ was “re-strengthening and rearming” as it prepared to assassinate drug dealers in West Belfast. They also claimed that they were responsible for a botched murder attempt on a drug dealer in Turf Lodge last year.
The group, which got together in 2002, re-emerged two years ago but has been active mostly within the past year.