Official IRA say they will ‘retaliate’

By Anthony Neeson

T he Official IRA are threatening to “retaliate” against individuals who they claim are using the organisation’s name.
The Andersonstown News has learned that men claiming to represent the Official IRA have entered several homes in West and North Belfast in recent weeks, confronting the occupants and issuing threats against them. One man was told to leave the country.
But the OIRA has now warned those using its name that they should “consider their precarious positions should they continue with such actions”.
News that the Official IRA are threatening to take violent action will come as a surprise to political observers, many of whom thought the organisation had disappeared.
The Official IRA emerged in December 1969 when the IRA split into two groups, the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA. The Official IRA declared a ceasefire as far back as 1972. In 2010 it was reported that the group had decommissioned its weapons.
However, in a statement signed by the Official IRA Command Staff Belfast, and delivered to the Andersonstown News, the organisation says it is far from defunct and that the Official IRA are still dedicated to the establishment of a socialist republic, although not involved in military action.
The statement reads: “The Official IRA is not a name that comes up in everyday conversation and that’s the way we were quite happy to have it.
“Unfortunately it has come to our attention that there are elements within our community who have donned the mantle of Official IRA to further their own nefarious activities, and in the process causing distress to individuals in nationalist areas, particularly in North and West Belfast.
“These actions serve no purpose other than to intimidate and foster fear of those carrying out such actions, and bringing the name of the Official IRA into disrepute.
“Far from being a defunct organisation, the Official IRA are still dedicated to the establishment of a socialist republic, and while not engaging militarily in any way, we still retain the right to defend and retaliate should our organisation or any of our members or their families be unduly put upon.
“From this viewpoint we consider the unauthorised use of our name by anyone, and for whatever corrupt or criminal reason, is an attack on the credibility of our organisation and those involved should consider their precarious positions should they continue with such actions.”

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