Published Thursday, 26 July 2012
A masked man reads a Real IRA Easter statement. (© UTV)
It is understood the merger is a fresh attempt at destabilising power sharing at Stormont and will come in the form of intensified attacks on security forces.
According to the Guardian newspaper, Republican Action Against Drugs, the vigilante group which is most active in the Derry area, is to join with the Real IRA and other smaller groupings - but the Continuity IRA will not be joining.
The new organisation released a statement to the newspaper in which it claimed a "unified structure, under a single leadership" had been formed.
It continued saying that they would be "subservient to the constitution of the Irish Republican Army".
Henry McDonald, the paper's Ireland correspondent, said it was an attempt by dissident factions "to become much more structured and centralised."
He said the amalgamation was "rather surprising," particularly the inclusion of RAAD.
"It has the potential for an escalation of violence and that certainly was indicated to me in various briefings over the last few days."
The journalist added that "threatening things is one thing, carrying them out is another."
SDLP leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell said the newly-announced coalition will be resisted every step of the way.
On Thursday night, he launched a scathing attack on the "new so-called IRA."
"They want to fill our jails, they want to fill our cemeteries and they want to deny our young people any opportunity for a job or prosperity," he told UTV.
He said: "Since the people of Ireland united in 1998 to vote overwhelmingly for a peaceful and democratic solution to the Troubles, the island has continued to build on the desire of the vast majority of people to co-exist in an atmosphere of calm and prosperity.
"Neither this new so-called IRA, the Continuity IRA or any other iteration of dissident threat will destabilise the structures and partnerships that have underpinned the relative peace of the last 14 years."
Dr McDonnell said the terrorists had "no mandate, no legitimacy, no authority to undo the progress we have made together."
"These are people who would rather skulk in dark alleyways, shooting teenagers in the legs for anti-social behaviour than stand proud in an election count and wait for the people's voice to be heard through the ballot box," he added.
"These people do not represent me, my family, my party or my nation."
© UTV News