Real and Continuity wings of the IRA have been
urged to follow the lead of the INLA and declare
ceasefires plea which certainly did not
include an equal appeal for disbanding and decommissioning
came from one of Ireland's leading republican
socialist activists, Tyrone-based Willie Gallagher
of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the INLA's
Gallagher also confirmed he felt a meeting of
republicans who questioned the present Provisional
Sinn Fein peace strategy would still go ahead,
and poured cold water on rumours it was aimed
at forming a new republican terror group.
Mr Gallagher also agreed with the views of Derry-based
independent republican Michael Donnelly that there
was a need to form a purely political Pan Republican
Front as an alternative to the present PSF agenda.
himself as a member of the IRSP, and an
unapologetic supporter of the INLA, he said
the aim of the original, postponed Toomebridge
meeting last month was totally political.
was to form an unarmed strategy as there is no
appetite for armed struggle and it only causes
divisions. We are still trying to unite Protestant,
Catholic and Dissenter. We want to win the Unionist
community over to our way of thinking, but we
know that the attacks on the RUC and UDR have
caused wedges between Catholics and Protestants.
Toomebridge type meeting will go ahead, but it
was taken completely out of context. There was
to be no discussion on a military option
that's all rubbish. There is no chance of the
INLA going into a front with the Continuity IRA.
am a strong supporter of the ceasefires and I
would say to the Real IRA and Continuity IRA
if the Provisional IRA couldn't do it pre the
1994 ceasefire, what hope have you got? The ceasefires
of the IRA and INLA were right.
INLA is still on ceasefire and there has been
no change in that since 1998. I still hold to
the belief the INLA ceasefire should not be broken.
It has been observed quite well. Any breaches
were more in response to attacks on the membership.
the Real and Continuity IRAs to declare ceasefires,
the leading IRSP man said: An analysis of
the situation is that the Real and Continuity
IRAs cannot carry out an effective campaign against
the British. To continue is to condemn our own
people to suffering.
must recognise the need to have friendship within
diversity with republicans and the unionist people.
We must be able to put our views across. That's
why the Toomebridge meeting was totally political.
The INLA, Continuity IRA and Real IRA have nothing
in common, but we need an unarmed strategy.
lot of republicans are unhappy with the direction
that Sinn Fein has taken. Republicans have given
up a lot more than people think. The ceasefires
were right, but they didn't believe in decommissioning,
Stormont and the police.
Fein lied to the membership and a lot of republicans
are waking up to the Adams strategy. But an anti-Sinn
Fein vote will increase again. We want to set
up a viable alternative at this time and we think
the Good Friday Agreement will collapse.
to the way forward, Mr Gallagher said he advocated
a broad front. Trying to unite
republicans is a difficult job in our history.
There is a lot of bitterness in republicanism
and we have to ask how we heal this. Toomebridge
was about healing that bitterness.
want to see discussions with all brands of republicans.
There is not a chance of a united Ireland with
the Good Friday Agreement. It will only come about
through a referendum in the North, but we recognise
that not every Catholic would vote for a united
Ireland, added Mr Gallagher.
Mr Donnelly said republicans in south Derry had
held a series of private, informal meetings to
discuss the situation. Although Republican Sinn
Fein, the political wing of the Continutity IRA,
had come out against the proposed Pan Republican
Front, Mr Donnelly emphasised the meetings had
still gone ahead but not on the scale of
the postponed Toomebridge event.
have been a series of very informal meetings amongst
the rank and file. In Derry, there have been two
meetings so far at grassroots level and we are
hoping for a venue further afield. The main areas
for these meetings are Derry city, Co Down, Co
Tyrone and south Derry.
the moment, these meetings are behind closed doors,
but a public meeting is planned. But the meetings
will not be based around paramilitaries.
Donnelly said they had even had a good response
from supporters in the South. He stressed the
Pan Republican Front would be an umbrella
group and would not be about poaching members
from other groups to the PRF.
the organisations are looking over their shoulders
because they fear they may lose members. Our message
at the moment is stay in your own groups because
the Pan Republican Front is an umbrella group;
it is not about trying to poach members.