Belfast Telegraph

CIRA splinter group says its ready to end its 'futile' war

By Sean O'Driscoll

The Continuity IRA has called a permanent ceasefire - or at least one half of it has.

A message to the Limerick Leader newspaper claims that the group has called an end to its "futile" war against the British state.

It thanked clergy and others who have helped it move to peace and said that it now wanted to fight for a united Ireland by peaceful means.

However, Republican Sinn Fein, the official political wing of Continuity IRA, was quick to distance itself from the movement and attributed it to a splinter group that formed in 2010.

Des Dalton, the president of Republican Sinn Fein, said he believed the statement was issued by the splinter group, which has strong roots in Limerick and the border area.

A former leading member of Republican Sinn Fein also said she believed the statement was from this breakaway organisation.

This splinter group formed in 2010 following a tussle for the leadership of Republican Sinn Fein and has been heavily involved in punishment attacks on drug dealers.

It claims to have taken the vast majority of Continuity IRA members with it and accused the official leadership of deliberately "running down" CIRA and of moving to peace.

In 2014, M15 allegedly succeeded in secretly recording several months of the breakaway group's army council meetings at a house in Newry.

Seven men - the majority with addresses in the Republic of Ireland - are facing charges as a result.

A PSNI officer told a court that the men were "leading key figures" in the breakaway Continuity IRA group. The men deny the charges.

In April, 2014, Tommy Crossan (43), the former Belfast leader of the breakaway CIRA, was shot dead in the city.

In 2013, a member of the breakaway group, Rose Lynch, was jailed for life for murdering David Darcy, a Dublin man she mistook for a prominent drug dealer.

This is the second dissident group to move to peace this year.

A leading member of Republican Network for Unity, which is the political wing of Oglaigh na hEireann, announced at Easter that the group is seeking alternatives to violence - a statement backed up by an RNU statement.

In the Easter statement, the group acknowledged its poor performance in elections and said that it must listen to ordinary people, who clearly did not have a desire for armed struggle.

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