Brexit 'helping New IRA recruit terrorists' as it 'vows to continue attacks'

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The New IRA is made up of disgruntled ex-Provisional IRA members with dissidents from other groups and has been responsible for a number of attacks and murders over the past eight years.

The group which has now been linked to the shooting of journalist Lyra McKee, 29, in Londonderry on Thursday night, says Britain’s exit from the EU is helping its cause.

Speaking to The Sunday Times representatives from the New IRA said: “Brexit has forced the IRA to refocus and has underlined how Ireland remains partitioned.
“It would be remiss of us not to capitalise on the opportunity.”

The group has admitted it has no chance of achieving a united Ireland but has vowed to continue its attacks.

The representative said: “We fully accept we cannot defeat the British militarily, or even drive them from Ireland, but we will continue to fight for as long as they remain here.

“The attacks are symbolic. They are propaganda. As long as you have the British in Ireland and the country remains partitioned, there will be an IRA.”

The New IRA said the 29-year-old’s death was an accident which occurred in a riot and described it as “something that did nothing to further any cause”.

One of the leaders of the group said: “It wasn’t a planned attack. It was a spontaneous reaction to the arrival of heavily armed police.”

“Her shooting was unintentional. There is nothing we can say that will not sound like a hollow apology.” 

The New IRA has also been linked to the deaths of prison officers David Black, who was shot as he drove to work at Maghaberry Prison in 2012, and Adrian Ismay, who was killed in 2016 after a bomb exploded under his van outside his home in east Belfast.

The group is believed to have been formed between 2011 and 2012 following the merger of a number of smaller groups, including the real IRA.

It is strongest in Derry, north and west Belfast, Strabane in Co Derry, Lurgan in Co Armagh, and pockets of Tyrone.

This year, the group was responsible for a car bomb outside the courthouse in Bishop Street, Derry – an explosives-laden car was left on the city centre street on a Saturday night in January with scores of people, including a group of teenagers, having walked past it before it detonated.

The New IRA also claimed a number of packages bombs were posted to targets in March in London and `Glasgow.

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