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Date Posted: 08:26:59 10/24/02 Thu
Author: Derry News

Taken from "Stormont-Watch" - www.voy.com/70381/

>Maghaberry prisoners to rule out truce -
>Derry News – Thursday 24 October
> By Mark Mullan
>Real IRA prisoners in Maghaberry Prison are set to
>release a statement backing the groups’ leadership and
>rejecting pleas from Portlaoise inmates for the RIRA
>to disband, the Derry News has learned.
>Suggestions that prisoners in Portlaoise were prepared
>to offer disbandment in return for lighter sentences
>have been circulating for some time but – as the Derry
>News revealed three weeks ago – the membership on the
>outside is violently opposed to any such move.
>On that occasion senior members of RIRA declared that
>the Portlaoise inmates had no authority to speak for
>the movement – in keeping with traditional republican
>policy – they lost all rank when they went into jail.
>Speaking exclusively to this paper, senior RIRA
>figures insisted that their campaign would go on – and
>to emphasise the point they passed on photographs of
>members training with sophisticated weapons such as
>AK-47 assault rifles and an improvised sniper rifle.
>However, the majority of the Portlaoise prisoners –
>including alleged Chief of Staff Michael McKevitt –
>endorsed a statement released at the weekend in which
>they called for the organisation to stand down –
>prompting reports that there had been a major split.
>But last night, senior RIRA sources adamantly denied
>that this was the case and insisted the only faction
>who were not backing the leadership were the
>Portlaoise prisoners led by McKevitt. They also warned
>that their “long war” would go on.
>Meanwhile, it is also understood that a statement
>outlining the position of RIRA prisoners in Maghaberry
>prison – including Derryman Ciaran McLaughlin – is
>highly likely to be drafted and could be released
>within hours.
>The statement is expected to reject the disbandment
>call and pledge allegiance to the present leadership.
>Campaign of violence
>These latest revelations look set to add to the
>pessimism that the Real IRA’s five-year campaign of
>violence may not be coming to an end.
>Within hours of the Portlaoise statement being made
>public, the organisation appeared to signal its
>response with a coffee-jar bomb at Castlederg* PSNI
>station and a series of hoax bomb alerts, which
>brought traffic chaos in Belfast.
>*Castlederg is in Co. Tyrone.
>Footnote: The Derry News, on page 6, to-day carried an
>advert displaying the logo of the Irish Anti-Partition
>League, and details on its Internet forum –
>“Stormont-Watch” – www.voy.com/70381/ This was in
>fact an illustration of the IA-PL's business card,
>designed and paid for by supporters in the U.S., which
>bore the message:
>Ireland is one country
>England's grip must be broken
>Help to break it!
>Join us on the web.

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