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26/09/2021

Saoradh denies any links to ‘New IRA’ in a statement two weeks after Lyra McKee’s murder

Republican group Saoradh has again distanced itself from any connection to the ‘New IRA’ amidst claims that is also now the most ‘heavily censored political party in Western Europe.’ In a statement released a short time ago on its Junior McDaid Facebook page, Saoradh also accused a “hostile media and state narrative” for linking it to the armed group that police have blamed for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry two weeks ago today. “Following the tragic killing of Lyra McKee in Derry a fortnight ago, Saoradh offered its analysis of the events that led to the journalists death; we did so as a political party on behalf of our membership who share our analysis of the terrible events. “We did not and do not speak on behalf of any other organisation and contrary to a hostile media and state narrative we do not speak on behalf of the Irish Republican Army. “Saoradh was roundly attacked in the media and by the political aristocracy for doing so. Quickly a public discourse was built up accusing Saoradh and its activists for Lyra’s death. Saoradh played no role in the events that led to the death of Lyra McKee. “Saoradh is an open and publicly accessible political party, though we offer an analysis on armed actions in the pursuit of Irish national liberation, Saoradh does not engage in armed struggle. “Saoradh is not a proscribed organisation, we have as our means political agitation, mobilisation and grassroots activism. Since our formation in 2016 we have grown and we continue to grow, we have three public offices with more planned, each one open and accessible to the public,” the statement said. Last night in Derry city centre an estimated 1,000 people gathered for a Sing For Peace event in memory of the murdered journalist. Amongst the songs performed by musicians and choirs alike were ‘Amazing Grace’ and the civil rights anthem ‘We Shall Overcome.’ Yesterday, police confirmed that witnesses to any future trial related to Lyra McKee’s murder are to be offered anonymity to limit the possibilities of threats being issued against them. And, in the aftermath of Lyra McKee’s killing the anonymous call line Crimestoppers offered a reward of up to £10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killer. Today’s release from Saoradh also blames both the British and Irish governments for using the murder of Lyra McKee as an excuse to impose speech restrictions on it. The statement continues: “We have had our access to the internet and various online platforms curtailed in an effort to deny us those basic fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression. “Saoradh place the blame for this orchestrated attack on everyone's rights at the door of the British and Dublin Governments who ironically are using the death of a journalist to impose unprecedented levels of censorship. Presently no political party in western Europe is subjected to the level of censorship now imposed on Saoradh. “Saoradh is currently pursuing a number of avenues to address these attacks on the freedom of speech. What the state does today on Irish Republicans it will not hesitate to use tomorrow on the rest of society. “ “You may not share our opinion, you may be diametrically opposed to it, as is your right, but you must understand that the denial of our rights today is the denial of your rights tomorrow.” A three-day event called Lyra's Walk from Belfast to Derry will take place later this month will organisers planning overnight stays in towns and villages before a rally that will conclude it at Guildhall Square on Bank Holiday Monday, May 27. Meanwhile today, fresh pro-IRA graffiti has appeared at Central Drive in Creggan stating “IRA here to stay” and “informers will be executed.” CAPTION: Journalist Lyra McKee who was killed on Thursday, April 18, 2019.

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