Dissident IRA Factions Unite To Threaten "Phony" Irish Peace
Perhaps it was the sight of Northern Ireland's deputy first minister and former IRA commander, Martin McGuinness, shaking hands with Queen Elizabeth that constituted the last straw for dissident members of the Irish Republican Army.
In any case, three dissident IRA factions including the Real IRA and Republicans Against Drugs announced a merger to carry on the armed struggle for the liberation of Northern Ireland and its reunification with the Republic of Ireland.
The unified group claimed that, as opposed to the Sinn Fein representatives in Stormont, they were the legitimate heirs to the Irish rebellion of 1916 as they remain committed "to the full realization of the ideals and principles enshrined in the Proclamation of 1916."
The communiquéי of the shadowy unified organization claimed that the cause of Irish freedom and independence had been set back by the failures of the leadership- presumably meaning McGuinness and Gerry Adams - and sidetracked by "a phony peace".
The communiquéי blamed the British for staging provocations by arresting those whom the communiquéי referred to as "non-conformist Republicans". However, they claimed, even without such provocations the arms struggle was legitimate due to " Britain's denial of the fundamental right of the Irish people to national self-determination and sovereignty." The only way to avoid the renewal of the bombing campaign, they demanded, was for Britain to totally dismantle its military presence in the country and this would have to be verified by international observers, according to a fixed timetable.
As in any guerrilla movement, the key to success will be the support of the people; in this case, the Catholic community in Northern Ireland. In the 1970s, that support was forthcoming given a sense of economic deprivation and what was perceived as heavy-handed British repression. The peace process in Northern Ireland, ushered in by the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, won the overwhelming support of both the Protestant and Catholic communities. People basically voted for economic improvement rather than continued bloodshed.
The recession and the austerity that has hit both the Republic of Ireland as well as Great Britain may, however, generate the resentments that the new organization can exploit.