New IRA group admit M1 murder

Published Monday, 12 November 2012
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A republican paramilitary group calling itself the IRA has admitted responsibility for the murder of prison officer David Black.

New IRA group admit M1 murder
David Black died in an ambush on the M1 earlier this month. (© PA)

In a statement to the Irish News newspaper, the group says the killing was linked to conditions at Maghaberry Prison where republican prisoners are refusing to wash in an attempt to secure political status.

There has been a long running republican protest at the jail in relation to strip-searching and the treatment of dissident prisoners.

The 52-year-old father of two was shot by gunmen on the M1 near Lurgan, Co Armagh on Thursday 1 November as he drove to work.

Mr Black, who was from Cookstown, was laid to rest last Tuesday. During his service, mourners heard that he was "a man committed to peace."

In July, it emerged that some of the main dissident republican terrorist factions in Northern Ireland were uniting to form a new version of the IRA.

Security correspondent Brian Rowan told UTV that "there are no secrets and no mysteries about this group."

It's a coalition of a number of dissidents who were out there - The Real IRA, Republican Action Against Drugs and a number of unaffiliated dissidents who have come together now to call themselves the IRA.

Brian Rowan

"The MI5 and police have been looking at elements within that IRA coalition as the likely people behind this gun attack on David Black," he continued.

"And [it's] no surprise either about what the backdrop to the shooting was - and that's the prisons row and protest within Maghaberry jail."

Mr Rowan added that it needed to be made clear this new grouping was not capable of "recreating, rerunning or reconstructing" what was the past IRA campaign.

"This organisation will pop its head up now and again. It has the deadly capacity to kill - but it hasn't got the capacity to sustain a long campaign."

Paul Givan, the DUP's justice spokesman, said that it is clear that there are "some within Northern Ireland who wish to drag the entire community backwards."

"The precise nature of whatever group has claimed responsibility for Mr Black's murder does not change the brutal nature of this crime."

He continued: "It should also have no impact upon the efforts made to ensure that those responsible are swiftly brought to justice.

"The murder of Mr Black cannot be justified and neither could any of the murders of the other 29 Prison Officers who were murdered because of the uniform they wore.

"The reality remains that those who murdered Mr Black come from within a community and someone will have been aware of their activities and their movements.

"It is vital that anyone with information about these people helps to put a stop to these terrorists and allows justice to be served."

Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin's policing spokesperson, insisted: "This is not the new IRA. There's a number of organisations that call themselves the new IRA

"There is only one IRA - it fought a war with the British. There have been negotiations, we have a Good Friday Agreement," the north Belfast MLA added.

"We have had a democratic mandate [from] after 1998 which says everybody wants to move on."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
22 Comments
Marty in The Point wrote (371 days ago):
So Paddy what about the SAS are they cowardly too. You hav,nt a clue what you are talking about.
Steve in Belfast wrote (705 days ago):
Realist in England: If you consider the use of the word "terrorist" so unhelpful, why are you using it so much? The fact is that, whether you like it or not, the British Amry is the only legitimate army in Northern Ireland. The IRA and other paramilitary groups are illegal and support for them a criminal offence. Please do not even attempt blurring the distinction between legally appointed, democratically agreed agencies and those self-appointed organisations outside the law that have plagued our country for decades and continue to even today. i don't know who, if anyone, you think you are helping, but it's not us.
Realist in England wrote (705 days ago):
Ryan - thank you for your post. I should point out that I am Irish however, I have just spent most of my life living in England. What I can say is that your view of English people is fair from my experience. The 'British' identity of loyalists is altogether alien over here. With some extremist exceptions, such as exist in all countries, the English tend to be a fairly liberal bunch who support or are ambivalent towards Irish unity.
Ryan in Belfast wrote (706 days ago):
@Paddy Northern Ireland. Paddy, Realist in England made a fair comparison when you consider the actions of the security forces over the past decades, collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries, etc Just because Realist doesnt agree with your opinion paddy doesnt mean hes a supporter of militant republicanism, honestly paddy wise up, its time you respected other peoples opinion, just because somebody is from England doesnt mean their blue, white and red to the core and are ready to wear a sash and parade through areas where their cleary not welcome.
jackie in belfast wrote (706 days ago):
@ Frosty in Here,the remark i made was a reminder of what Gerry Adams said at the city hall when someone shouted bring back the IRA! Frosty i totally agree with your comment.
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