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Old 12-29-2002, 05:34 PM
KConnor56 KConnor56 is offline
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Default Irish Prisoner News

Here is the current news on Republican POW's held in Irish, & British prisons.

Republican POW's carry a tremendous amount of influence. One omly needs to look at Bobby Sands to see how much power they wield, & that is really only the surface. So when the following statement came from prisoners to the RIRA (Real Irish Republican Army, which has only been in existance for about 5yrs or so, but is currently at a state of war, & is carrying out attacks) (They are not to be mistaken for the PIRA -Provisional Irish Republican Army, The Provo's, who most people consider the IRA), it really created a firestorm on the streets of Belfast. A statement like this had never been issued by any Republican Prisoner group before.
It really was unprecedented.

The full text of the Real IRA statement reads:

"On Friday, September 27, in a written communication to the Army leadership, the [Real] IRA unit in Portlaoise Prison took the unprecedented step of calling the Army Council to stand down with ignominy.

"We will not demean our struggle or provide succour to our enemies by revealing the comprehensive catalogue of evidence which has exposed this leadership. However, we do feel duty-bound to state that this Army leadership's financial motivations far outweigh their political commitment to our struggle at this time.

"IRA prisoners find this morally and politically unacceptable. We believe that the current Army leadership has forfeited all moral authority to lead the [Real] IRA. To date, the leadership has failed to respond to our demand. Thus we feel we are left with no option but to withdraw our allegiance from this Army leadership.

"We would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to republican principles and reiterate our steadfast opposition to the Belfast Agreement and British rule in Ireland. Furthermore, in order to dispel recent, mischievous leaks to the media, we would like to
state that no IRA prisoners' representative has entered negotiationswith any government regarding the early release of political
prisoners."

It is signed: "IRA unit, Portlaoise."

A written addendum states that all Real IRA prisoners in Portlaoise and England "speak with one voice". This statement from the Real IRA prisoners has to be read against the background of the Real IRA's ceasefire declared after Omagh. Under pressure, a ceasefire was announced on September 7, 1998, but later the campaign was resumed
without warning.

While the statements represent not only the vast majority of Real IRA members, including the most significant leaders and founding members, there are some in the organisation who disagree. There is also one significant member in prison who does not want to disband or even go on ceasefire.

Liam Campbell, said to be the Real IRA's main strategist and a close associate of the current leader on the outside, is opposed to a ceasefire. Three weeks ago, he and two others were removed from the Real IRA landing in Portlaoise and are no longer aligned to the main group. A small number of prisoners in the North have yet to declare where they stand.
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