A WAR of words has erupted between dissident republicans in Limerick after threats were made against any Irish person who “dons a British Army uniform”.
During the Limerick Republican Sinn Fein Sean South commemoration at the weekend, a statement - purporting to be from Continuity IRA prisoners at Portlaoise Prison - was read out.
“Whether they are motivated by financial reasons or a sense of adventurism, we take this opportunity to say that the moment you don a British uniform you become a legitimate target for the IRA,” read the statement, which was delivered at the Republican plot at Mount Saint Lawrence cemetery.
However, Des Dalton, president of Republican Sinn Fein, has dismissed the statement saying those who took part in the commemoration were not members of his organisation.
“They are not Republican Sinn Fein. A number of them were dismissed from Republican Sinn Fein and they have been using our name and abusing our name over the last almost three years,” he said adding that he attended a separate commemoration ceremony at Mount Saint Lawrence on Sunday afternoon.
However, Joseph Lynch of Republican Sinn Fein in Limerick has reacted angrily to Mr Dalton’s claims insisting the event he organised was legitimate.
“They walked away from us two years ago and we carried on the traditions of Republican Sinn Fein and we hold that name,” Mr Lynch told the Limerick Chronicle.
“They are politically bankrupt. They are old people run by four old women from an office in Dublin and it annoys them to see that there are young people within Republican Sinn Fein carrying on the traditions of the movement,” he added.
There was a large garda presence at Mount Saint Lawrence cemetery on Sunday for the Sean South commemoration and investigations are being carried out into the circumstances surrounding the making of the alleged threats.
It is understood several items, including recordings of the graveside statement, have been seized as part of the investigation.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan, whose party also held a commemoration service on Sunday, has criticised the actions of dissident republicans at the weekend.
“They are using the colloquialism of republicanism which I believe is a proud one and a noble one but the arms struggle in this country is over and it has been over for a long, long time. The IRA disbanded in 2005 and these people are running around pretending they are the IRA. They are not the IRA, the IRA is gone, it finished in 2005, they decommissioned their weapons and they embraced the peace process,” said Cllr Quinlivan, who added that he believes the vast majority of people in Limerick support the peace process.