Real IRA threatens more 'executions' of police

The Real IRA warned yesterday that it planned to kill more police in Northern Ireland and disrupt the Queen's historic visit to Ireland. At a rally in Londonderry to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule, a masked member of the dissident republican group told supporters that police would be considered "as liable for execution as anyone, regardless of their religion, cultural background or motivation". In a statement, the group also branded the Queen a war criminal ahead of her first visit to the Republic from 17 to 20 May.

It called on "any young nationalist who may have been sold the lie" that the Police Service of Northern Ireland had been reformed and was non-political to think again. "Those who think they are serving their community are in fact serving the occupation and will be treated as such," the statement said.

The rally, held by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, came three weeks after PC Ronan Kerr, 25, was killed by a nationalist car bomb in Omagh, Co Tyrone. The masked Real IRA man formed part of a colour party of seven people, all dressed in full paramilitary uniform. Between 200 and 300 people attended the event, which was monitored by a police helicopter.

The Real IRA statement said the Queen's visit was an insult that should be resisted by "all self-respecting Irishmen and women", and was an attempt to "further the selfish interests of a self-serving elite". "The Irish people will not capitulate," it added. "The Queen of England is wanted for war crimes in Ireland and not wanted on Irish soil. We will do our best to ensure she and the gombeen [usurer] class that act as her cheerleaders get that message."

Mark Durkan, the MP for Foyle and former leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), condemned the speech, saying: "The Real IRA ... is morally and politically bankrupt when they are driven to attack and threaten nationalists who want to serve the community and their country."

Police aross the province were kept on high alert all weekend. They fear an attack is imminent and have urged the public to remain vigilant. Dissident groups are said to be keen to use the royal visit to Dublin to their advantage, invoking hatred of the monarchy as a way to stir up deep-seated resentment at political division of the island.

Earlier, three men appeared in court in Newry, Co Down, charged with possessing guns and preparing for terrorism. Brian Sheridan, 34, Brian Cavlan, 35, and Dominic Dines, 39, were held on Friday in South Armagh. In later searches in the same area, police found explosives and bomb-making equipment.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor