A masked dissident republican terrorist launched a chilling attack on Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, calling him a “traitor to Ireland”.
Scores of hardliners gathered at a Lurgan graveyard last Saturday to mark the Easter Rising, as spokesmen for Continuity IRA warlords warned they “will rid this country of the Brits, once and for all”.
In a speech watched by Sunday Life at St Colman’s Cemetery, the masked man paid tribute to “most noble” Ruairi O Bradaigh and Joe O’Neill, leaders of CIRA’s political wing Republican Sinn Fein who died within the past year, but there was no mention of expelled CIRA terror chief Tommy Crossan who was executed in broad daylight in west Belfast on Friday.
Yesterday, a mouthpiece for the terror group singled out former members whom he accused of “criminal activity perpetrated in the name of the republican movement”. He also hit out at links made to the republican movement and gangland violence.
Minutes earlier, Continuity IRA members marched in formation with supporters and two flute bands from the Kilwilkie estate to St Colman’s in full military dress. At the same parade last year there
was a small explosion near St Colman’s which sources said was designed to act as a “show of strength” attempt to kill police officers patrolling in the area.
This year, there was no security force presence at the parade.
After wreaths were laid, a spokesman for Republican Sinn Fein then also launched a vitriolic rant against Martin McGuinness to claps and cheers from supporters.
Labelling the Deputy First Minister an “agent” and “traitor” he said: “It seems to me that Martin McGuinness is everything that’s wrong with Ireland.”
He also criticised Mr McGuinness for dining with Queen Elizabeth earlier this month.
“Watching McGuinness on TV, the images of him dining at a state banquet were in stark contrast to the pain of the hunger strikers,” he said.
Another Republican Sinn Fein speaker hit out at the police, who he said had “stolen” dissident uniforms.
“Last week in Lurgan the RUC backed up by their military colleagues broke into two houses in Craigavon and stole military uniforms belonging to Republican Sinn Fein.
“If this is the only weapon they have in their entire arsenal to beat the republican movement, they have failed miserably and they will continue to fail because republicanism will never be defeated,” he said.
The spokesman also paid tribute to republican “prisoners of war” in Maghaberry jail. “People who treat them as criminals do so at their own risk,” he warned.
In a chilling vow to “rid Ireland of Brits”, he said: “Sinn Fein propose British rule in Ireland, and we oppose it.
“We will continue to oppose British rule in Ireland in whatever shape or form.
“With our comrades in the Continuity IRA, we will rid this country of the Brits once and for all.”
The CIRA was responsible for the brutal 2009 murder of Constable Stephen Carroll in Craigavon.