Τετάρτη, 6 Απριλίου 2011

IT HAPPENED in Omagh.. Νέο κύμα βίας στην Β Ιρλανδία

PSNI forensic officers at Highfield Close, Omagh, Co Tyrone, where young Catholic police officer Ronan Kerr was killed at the weekend by a car bomb

Νέο κύμα βίας στην Β Ιρλανδία, όπου ο R.I.R.A. (Real IRA) δολοφονεί ένα Ιρλανδό καθολικο  αστυνομικό, στέλνοντας το μήνυμα ότι οι Καθολικοι της Β Ιρλανδίας θα πρέπει να μένουν μακρυα από τα σώματα ασφαλείας της Β Ιρλανδίας.

It HAPPENED in Omagh, of all places. How cruel, arrogant and contemptuous is that ? The message seemed to be: we murdered 29 people including a woman pregnant with two unborn children and now almost 13 years later we can and will murder more. Ronan Kerr was targeted because he was a Catholic, just as Constable Peadar Heffron, badly injured in a similar attack in January last year, was targeted because he was a Catholic, and just as a woman officer was targeted in Kilkeel, Co Down, last August because of her Catholic religion. In that latter case, the officer survived because the device fell off her car. What police, Garda and the British and Irish intelligence services learned from the failed Kilkeel incident is that the dissidents are becoming more sophisticated in their bomb-making capability. The modus operandi of the bombers indicates that Óglaigh na hÉireann/ Real IRA was responsible, although at the time of writing there was no statement of admission.

The PSNI is now trying to determine whether the dissidents have moved another step forward, from their perspective, by developing an under-car bomb that is even more explosive and difficult to detect. Certainly, as PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan have accepted, the dissidents are improving their engineering capability.

Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and several other church, community and political representatives described the murder of Constable Kerr as “futile”. It’s what people say at these times but that doesn’t undermine the truth of the statement.

Whoever planned the attack may have had some notion of strategy at the back of their mind. For instance, the bombing happened just as the 50:50 Catholic and Protestant recruitment policy ended. This was designed to boost the number of Catholics in the service. Perhaps the dissident message was that Catholics must stay away from the police service just as the Provisional IRA sent similar deadly messages in the past by targeting Catholic members of the RUC, Ulster Defence Regiment and Royal Irish Regiment.  But most people have moved on. Martin McGuinness acted quickly and properly by visiting the officer’s grieving mother Nuala on Saturday, and he was graciously welcomed. Constable Kerr’s late father is from Andersonstown and, according to McGuinness, was from a republican background.  Adams, in offering his sympathy to the Kerr family, said young Catholics should still be prepared to join the PSNI: they were a force serving all of the community.  Perhaps some Catholics will have second thoughts about a PSNI career but this murder appears unlikely to severely dent Catholic recruitment: it might even stiffen collegial cross-community police resolve.

Perhaps the murder was somehow linked to the forthcoming 30th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands and the other hunger strikers. Perhaps the dissidents believed they would undermine the political process as politicians face into the Assembly election campaign. But there is absolutely no sign of that happening. Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, other party leaders and Chief Constable Baggott are this morning due to again stand together in symbolic opposition to the murder at Stormont Castle – just as they did after the killings of British soldiers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey and PSNI constable Stephen Carroll two years ago. That was when the Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister denounced those killers as “traitors” to Ireland.  The PSNI and MI5 are still on high alert against further attack. The threat level in Northern Ireland remains at “severe” meaning further attacks are “highly likely”, while in Britain it is “substantial” meaning an attack or attacks are a “strong possibility”. Combating the dissidents requires “eternal vigilance”, said one southern security source yesterday. It will also require public co-operation and support for the PSNI.  While the war is over, there is still the fear factor that militates against nailing the killers, particularly in republican heartlands. F or some “whatever you say, say nothing” still defines how they deal with the police. Getting beyond that is now the challenge. Adams said yesterday people must go “beyond the politics of condemnation . . . We have to make it very, very clear that those involved must stop . . . Anyone with any information should come forward.” He also said that republicans were “seething with anger” at the murder, including what he called “hard-boiled” republicans. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0404/1224293735784.html

Graffiti praising the murder of PSNI constable Ronan Kerr and threatening further attacks has been daubed on walls in Londonderry. Τhe slogans were painted in the Bogside estate, an area with a predominantly republican population.  One read: "GAA cops, look what use  got". It refers to Constable Kerr's membership of a Gaelic football club.

The Real Irish Republican Army, otherwise known as the Real IRA (RIRA) and styling itself as Óglaigh na hÉireann (Volunteers of Ireland), is a paramilitary organisation which aims to bring about a united Ireland. Formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional IRA, it is an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland and designated as a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and the United States.  The organisation has been responsible for a number of bombings in Northern Ireland and England, most notably the 15 August 1998 Omagh bombing, which killed 29 people. On 7 March 2009 RIRA members claimed responsibility for an attack on the Massereene Barracks that killed two British soldiers, the first to be killed in Northern Ireland since 1997.
On 10 October 1997 a Provisional IRA General Army Convention was held in FalcarraghCounty Donegal. At the convention Provisional IRA Quartermaster General Michael McKevitt, also a member of the 12-person Provisional IRA Executive, denounced the leadership and called for an end to the group's ceasefire and participation in the Northern Ireland peace process. He was backed by his common-law wife and fellow Executive member Bernadette Sands-McKevitt.
The RIRA's ultimate objective is a united Ireland by forcing British withdrawal from Northern Ireland through the use of physical force. The organisation rejects the Mitchell Principles and the Belfast Agreement, comparing the latter to the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty which resulted in the partition of Ireland. The organisation aims to uphold an uncompromising form of Irish republicanism and opposes any political settlement that falls short of Irish unity and independence.
Sands-McKevitt, sister of hunger striker Bobby Sands and a founder of the RIRA's political wing, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, said in an interview that "Bobby did not die for cross-border bodies with executive powers. He did not die for nationalists to be equal British citizens within the Northern Ireland state". The RIRA adopts similar tactics to those used by the Provisional IRA in the 1990s, primarily using bombs in town centres to damage the economic infrastructure of Northern Ireland. The organisation also attempts to kill members of the security forces using land mineshome-made mortars and car bombs, and targets England using incendiary and car bombs to spread terror and disruption

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