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Dissident leaders claim Brexit is driving young people into New IRA – report

Dissident leaders claim Brexit is driving young people into New IRA – report
Senior members of the New Irish Republican Army say that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is driving young people to join the paramilitary republican organization.

The dissident group say that the possible return of a hard border has brought the partition of Ireland into sharp focus and allowed them to recruit young supporters.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, representatives of the group said young people are being radicalized because they don’t feel represented by Northern Ireland’s nationalist parties.

Also on rt.com Is Brexit to blame for the uptick in Northern Ireland violence, and what is the ‘New IRA’?

“There are no left-wing political parties any more. Sinn Fein don’t represent republicans. They are a centrist party now,” one of the paramilitaries said.

“Brexit has forced the IRA to refocus and has underlined how Ireland remains partitioned. It would be remiss of us not to capitalize on the opportunity,” another added.

The interview took place in the aftermath of the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry earlier this month. The killing has sparked widespread anger against the organization, which has admitted responsibility for McKee’s death.

The paramilitaries said McKee’s shooting, which happened during a riot, was “unintentional,” “shocking,” and “something that did nothing to further any cause.”


The organization was established as recently as 2012 when members of the Real IRA and several other dissident republican groups came together. Its members include many younger people as well older hardliners who were involved in the Provisional IRA before it announced a ceasefire in 1994.

Speaking to the newspaper, members of the New IRA’s army council acknowledged that there was no public support for a campaign of violence in Northern Ireland but it would continue to carry out attacks to keep their struggle in the headlines.

Also on rt.com Police release CCTV footage of suspects in journalist Lyra McKee murder case (VIDEO)

“Our armed actions serve one purpose. They are symbolic. They are propaganda. They let the world know there is an ongoing conflict in Northern Ireland,” said one of the dissident leaders.

Condemning the IRA is nothing new. We are not interested in being popular. Republicanism has always been a small core of people.

The dissident group justified its use of violence with the claim that the 1998 Good Friday agreement did not achieve what the IRA or republicans wanted.

“We still have all the issues that existed before the Good Friday agreement. There is talk of a border poll but it’s at the discretion of a British secretary of state. Britain still has a veto over Irish sovereignty,” one of the group said.

Security forces in Northern Ireland regard the New IRA as a significant threat. It has carried out several gun and bomb attacks and has murdered two prison officers.

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