A former leading member of the Provisional IRA in Derry has said it’s sickening that the merged RAAD and Real IRA are claiming the mantle of the ‘IRA’.
He told the Journal that he and other former Provisionals find it “disgusting that these boys are calling themselves the IRA”.
He described the move as an attempt to create conflict between republicans in order to destabilise the peace process.
In a hard-hitting interview, the former leading republican said there is widespread anger and resentment at what’s happening, particularly in the Creggan area.
“After more than thirty years of hard war with the British security forces, these so-called republicans, who are nothing more than touts and hoods, have divided Creggan and the people of Derry.
“They have put fear into a community that never feared the might of the British forces.”
The man said he was being forced to defend what he called real Creggan republicans when he met former Provos from other parts of Derry and beyond.
“Other Provisionals can not understand the thinking behind the recent merger. Peace was hard fought for. We wanted to end the war for our children but these boys want to start it up without any real plan other than to terrorise the youth of our community.”
The former Provo said there was an issue surrounding drugs but RAAD was not the answer.
“These young people need help, not persecution from RAAD. These thugs are more interested in lining their own pockets than assisting their community in any way. Where is all the money that they seized from dealers or ransomed from families who sought safe passage back to Derry for their sons?”
The former Provo said he was moved to speak out after two young men were ordered out by the ‘IRA’ group.
“The son of a well-known and well-respected republican, Bobby Fisher, who put his own life on the line in pursuit of his republican beliefs, has been forced from his home town over a row about bonfire material. These boys need to wise up. This was a row among teenagers.
“This group have hit a new low with a demand to the Fishers to withdraw the statement they issued saying it was about bonfire material. I applaud the stand this family have taken. I think it is time for the community to stand up to these threats, to stand with their young people. The youth on the estate are beginning to fight back and it is leading to confrontation. The fear is, where will that stop?
“This group enjoy blaming the Provos for everything that has gone wrong in the world since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. I ask them this though: was it the Provos who murdered young Derry men in the last four years?” “Was it the Provo’s who exiled young Derry men in such numbers?
“Was it the Provos who put local children at risk with indiscriminate pipe bomb attacks?
“The fear is since RAAD have taken control of the Real IRA we can expect more of these activities. What exactly have they achieved since starting their campaign?”
Referring to the command structure of the organisation now calling themselves the IRA, the former Provo said: “They need to investigate the actions of these people in Derry and Creggan.
“Why are they targeting our young people? It is about time Republicans asked the question, why is it that so many young Creggan men now have a problem with their organisation?
“The Fisher family and God knows how many others are lying in fear, waiting on a knock that could be the last thing they hear.
“I plead with Creggan - speak up now because it could be your son next.”