Real IRA: we bombed banks
The Real IRA has claimed responsibility for bombing the City of Culture office in Londonderry and two banks - and warned it will continue to strike financial targets.
In a statement laden with anti-capitalist rhetoric, the dissident republican terrorists said the bombings of two Santander bank branches were a response to bankers' "greed".
The language used to justify the attacks seems designed to tap into the widespread public animosity towards the banking system since the economic crash and bank bailouts on both sides of the border.
A bomb was thrown into a Santander branch in Derry city centre in May, causing extensive damage.
The bank's Newry office was targeted in August, although the viable device did not explode.
Last October, the Ulster Bank branch on Culmore Road was also bombed by the Real IRA.
Last night's statement to the Guardian newspaper said such attacks "are an integral part of our strategy of targeting the financial infrastructure that supports the British government's capitalist colonial system in Ireland".
"The impetus to carry out this type of attack is directly linked to pressure from working-class communities in Ireland as a whole," the statement read.
Two weeks ago, the City of Culture offices were damaged by a bomb. The statement said the attack was an "objection" to the "political exploitation of Derry's name and culture". "Republicans view this charade as an elaboration of the well-choreographed 'peace process' which resulted in former IRA personnel serving as British ministers," it said.
The message also said deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness was not under threat, contradicting what the Irish presidential candidate has stated in the past.
"Why would we turn him into a so-called martyr?" it added.