The Real IRA is today expected to publicly claim responsibility for the murder of former Sinn Fein administrator Denis Donaldson at a commemoration event being held in Londonderry.
The dissident republican terror group is to use a 32 County Sovereign Movement Easter commemoration event in the city to read out a statement saying its members shot the west Belfast man in Co Donegal some three years ago.
Mr Donaldson, former head of Sinn Fein's administration at Stormont, was murdered at a remote Glenties, Co Donegal, cottage after leaving Northern Ireland when he admitted to years of work as a British informer.
In a Real IRA Easter statement carried by the Sunday Tribune yesterday, the group branded Mr Donaldson a “traitor”, a term recently used by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to describe dissident republicans after the murders of two soldiers and a PSNI officer.
The terrorist organisation also threatened to carry out armed attacks in mainland Britain as part of its campaign for a united Ireland.
It also warned young police officers they would be considered targets.
According to the Sunday Tribune, several hundred republicans are expected to gather at the City Cemetery in Londonderry today to mark the Easter Rising and to pay tribute to killed IRA members.
Wreaths will be laid and the 1916 Proclamation read. The newspaper said the oration will be delivered by a 32 County Sovereignty Movement representative who will be joined by “a member of the republican movement” to read out the Real IRA’s Easter statement.
Sinn Fein deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness branded the dissidents traitors after they killed two soldiers last month at Massereene army barracks in Antrim.
The Real IRA’s Easter statement carried in the newspaper said: “A former comrade, (Martin McGuinness), has come full circle and with a knight of the British realm (Police Service of Northern Ireland chief constable Sir Hugh Orde) at his shoulder he has labelled our gallant volunteers as traitors to justify his Redmondite (anti-violent republicanism) stance and home rule politics.
“Let us remind our former comrade of the nature and actions of a traitor. Treachery is collaborating with the enemy, treachery is betraying your country.”
The Real IRA statement added: “Let us give our one-time comrade an example. Denis Donaldson was a traitor and the leadership of the Provisional movement, under guidance from the British government, made provision for Donaldson to escape republican justice.
“It fell to the volunteers of Oglaigh na hEireann (the Real IRA) to carry out the sentence and punishment demanded in our army orders and by the wider republican family.
“No traitor will escape justice regardless of time, rank, past actions.
"The republican movement has a long memory.”
Other threats made by the Real IRA included:
The Real IRA spokesman claimed, in an interview with the newspaper, that two Real IRA members armed with a sledgehammer and a shotgun broke down the door of Donaldson's cottage.
“He just ran into the back room.
There was a struggle and he ended up on the ground.
“He didn't cry out or plead for mercy. He remained silent all the time.”
The spokesman claimed the two weapons used to kill the soldiers at Massereene army barracks hadn't been found.
Security experts were surprised the Massereene getaway car had not been burned out.
But the Real IRA said it had been doused in petrol and was ablaze.
“Because a window hadn't been left open the fire burned itself out,” he added.
He also threatened policemen in Northern Ireland.
“Any young person fool enough to join the colonial police in the belief that the leadership of the Provisional movement will protect them or give them cover is sadly mistaken.”