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Dissident party Saoradh opens office in Belfast

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Colin Duffy at the Saoradh press launch in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry

Colin Duffy at the Saoradh press launch in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry

Philip Magowan

Saoradh members

Saoradh members

Philip Magowan

/

Colin Duffy at the Saoradh press launch in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry

A new dissident republican political party launched at the weekend has opened an office in the heart of west Belfast.

Saoradh - which is Irish for 'liberation' - is supported by New IRA prisoners and will operate from premises on the Falls Road.

Around 150 people, including prominent Lurgan dissident, Colin Duffy, attended its first ard fheis in Newry on Saturday.

Recently released New IRA prisoner, Sharon Girvan, from Pomeroy, was also present.

The party's chairman is former Tyrone IRA prisoner, Davy Jordan (45), who is currently out on bail on charges of attempting to kill a PSNI officer.

In a sideswipe at Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, who has led his party for 33 years, Mr Jordan said: "I've no desire to sit as your chair for longer than is necessary.

"The Irish habit of following the personality rather than principles has been disastrous for political movements."

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Mr Jordan claimed that the term republican had been "hijacked" to refer to "counter-revolutionaries administering British rule".

He described those "in the pay of our nation's oppressor" as "false prophets who have been defeated and consumed by the very system they claim to oppose".

He added that nationalist working-class areas were plagued by deprivation which Sinn Fein was failing to tackle. Those "who claim the legacy of Bobby Sands" were helping to administer a poverty programme "at the behest of the very Tory party responsible for his death", he alleged.

Mr Jordan denounced the PSNI and intelligence services for "enforcing British rule".

He continued: "We won't be brow-beaten.

"The croppies will not lie down, and we will not back down.

"Saoradh is up for the fight, up for challenging those agencies and their apologists within our communities."

A Palestinian speaker, Issam Hijjawi, also addressed the ard fheis.

There was no visible security force presence outside.


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