UK News Electronic Telegraph
Friday 4 September 1998
Issue 1197

Give up violence or else, Provos tell the 'Real IRA'
By Sean O'Neill in Belfast

Clinton tells Ulster it must not lose 'magic of peace'

THE Provisional IRA has visited the homes of members of the self-styled "Real IRA" and ordered the disbandment of the organisation, according to dissident republicans.

Sources said that 60 people connected with the "Real IRA" or the 32-County Sovereignty Movement, its political wing, were called on within a 90-minute period on Tuesday night. The dissidents were told that the "Real IRA" must disband within a fortnight and stop interfering with the Provisionals' armaments dumps or "action would be taken".

Homes in South Armagh, Dundalk, Dublin and other locations in the Irish Republic were visited in what was clearly a well co-ordinated operation. Two men called at each house and a statement, said to be from the IRA Army Council, was read out. Some of the dissidents knew the callers personally.

One man said: "The two men who called at my door said the Real IRA had no right to exist and accused it of misappropriating weapons. At other homes, members of the Sovereignty Movement were told they had no right to speak against the peace process. Some were simply warned 'action' would be taken against them if they did not make amends within a fortnight. Others were told they would be shot. The men who called at some doors apologised and said they were only following orders. Others were more intimidating."

The visits followed a statement by a spokesman for the Provisional IRA leadership last weekend that called on the splinter group to disband. He said that the "Real IRA" had exaggerated claims of defections and inflated estimates of its strength. He said: "The grouping have done only disservice to the republican cause. They have no coherent political strategy, they are not a credible alternative to the IRA. In the immediate aftermath of the Omagh bomb, they announced a temporary halt to their actions. This is insufficient. They should disband and they should do so sooner rather than later."

The "Real IRA", which has admitted planting the Omagh bomb, has declared a suspension of "military operations" but has resisted calls to declare a ceasefire. The organisation was formed last year when a number of IRA figures, including Michael McKevitt, the IRA's quartermaster general, split with the Provisionals.

19 August 1998: 'Real IRA' says sorry for Omagh bomb

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