Group calling itself ‘the IRA’ claims responsibility for Derry bomb

Dissidents insist Brexit ‘has no bearing on our actions’ in statement to local newspaper

The bombing in Derry’s Bishop Street was widely condemned across the political spectrum. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The bombing in Derry’s Bishop Street was widely condemned across the political spectrum. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

 

A group calling itself “the IRA” has said it was behind the car bomb attack on Derry’s courthouse 10 days ago.

It also said, in a statement, that those who it described as “collaborating with the British” should “desist immediately as no more warnings will be given.” Brexit had “no bearing on our actions”, the group said.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has said its main line of enquiry is that a dissident republican group, the New IRA, was responsible for the explosion.

Dissident republican groups typically refer to themselves as “the IRA”, however.

Nobody was injured when the “crude and unstable” device, which had been placed inside a hijacked pizza delivery vehicle, exploded on Bishop Street on January 19th.

A group of young people were recorded on CCTV walking past the bomb just before the explosion, and police said it would have killed anybody who was nearby.

Minor damage was caused to bollards outside the courthouse, and nearby windows.

A total of five people were arrested in the aftermath of the bombing. All have been released without charge.

The PSNI also believes the New IRA was behind three other hijackings of work vans, including a Royal Mail van and a supermarket delivery vehicle, in the city on January 21st.

In a statement to the Derry Journal, which has been seen by The Irish Times, the group said “we will continue to strike at Crown forces personnel and their imperial establishment.

“We also caution those who collaborate with the British that they are to desist immediately as no more warnings will be given.”

In the aftermath of the bombing there had been speculation – refuted by the PSNI – that the attack had been motivated by Brexit.

In the statement, the group also denied Brexit was responsible.

“All this talk of Brexit, hard borders, soft borders, has no bearing on our actions and the IRA won’t be going anywhere,” the statement said. “Our fight goes on.”

The bombing was widely condemned across the political spectrum.

The chair of Derry Trades Union Council, Liam Gallagher, said the statement represented an “ominous” threat to workers.

“Workers, especially those who are engaged in delivery services in certain areas have expressed concern to us,” he said.

On Friday workers, including courthouse employees, held a protest rally in the centre of Derry.

“This represents a threat to people carrying out necessary services which we all depend upon,” said Mr Gallagher.

“They are carrying out their jobs and doing their duty.

“This organisation has nothing to offer Derry workers other than death and destruction and a return to a failed campaign which the majority of Irish people rejected at the ballot box.

“I call on them to desist.”