A masked member of the Real IRA has vowed that the organisation will continue its campaign of violent attacks in the city.
The masked man appeared at an Easter Rising commemoration in the City Cemetery yesterday organised by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and read a statement from “the leadership of Óglaigh na h’Éireann”.
The man, dressed in a dark raincoat and black balaclava, appeared from the crowd towards the end of the commemoration to the applause of the several hundred people in attendance.
“The IRA will continue to attack Crown force personnel and their installations as well as British interests and infrastructure,” he said.
The masked man also said the Real IRA would work with other dissident republican groups.
“Republican unity remains a key objective and we will work closely with other organisations.
“Continued divisions within republicanism only serve the interests of our enemies,” he said.
The masked man also claimed there is only one IRA.
“The challenge for republicans remains the removal of the British presence and violation of our sovereignty. The Irish Republican Army will continue to challenge this violation.
“There is only Irish Republican Army and it is present in this cemetery today,” he said.
His speech was greeted with loud applause and cheering from the crowd.
Prominent Derry republican Gary Donnelly also spoke at the commemoration on behalf of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM) and said that there is no constitutional path to a united Ireland.
“Republicans stand here today continuing to defy those who demand submission,” he said.
Mr Donnelly also said; “The 32CSm challenge those who defend these servants of the crown to explain what argument exists that defends the rights of the PSNI to harass children and suppress the republican message.”
In an apparent reference to Sinn Féin, the leading republican also said; “Republicans cannot and will not engage with the institutions of partition and those who do have no right to claim the label of republican. The unavoidable conclusion reached when looking at former comrades at Stormont is that there is simply no constitution path to a United Ireland,” he said.
In a departure from previous years, the ‘colour party’ was not masked and wore white shirts and black ties as opposed to paramilitary uniform.