Republican political party Saoradh has strongly denied having any links to the ‘New IRA’, the armed republican grouping being blamed by police for last Saturday’s car bomb attack in Derry and a subsequent series of security alerts in the city.
Saoradh has also contended that the media have “misinterpreted” a statement released by them in the wake of the bomb that exploded outside Derry’s courthouse minutes after a group of young people walked past it.
In a statement to the Derry News a spokesperson for the republican organisation said that it “does not or will not come under the control or influence of any other organisation, armed or otherwise.”
The statement continued: “Media reports have speculated that Saoradh shares a similar political interpretation of the current settlement as those revolutionary republicans that targeted a British institution.
“As is demonstrable from our publicly available constitution, Saoradh is an autonomous revolutionary socialist party that has a collective leadership, transparency, accountability and unrivalled internal democracy.”
A short time after the car bomb attack in Bishop Street on January 19, a report appeared on the Saoradh website under the headline ‘Large Mine Explodes at Derry Court House.’
The report said: “Early reports from the city of Derry are indicating that a British institution in the form of Derry City Courthouse has been attacked this evening in what is believed to have been a large mine attack by Republican Revolutionaries.
“Reports from the city say that a car filled with explosives, planted outside the British court, exploded as Crown Force personnel attended the scene.
“This attack comes on the eve of the centenary of the Soloheadbeg ambush where Sean Tracey and his comrades struck a historic blow against the Crown Forces in Tipperary, it seems 100 years later volunteer Sean Tracey's comrades continue the unfinished revolution."
However, Saoradh have claimed that this was not an endorsement of the Derry bombing.
The spokesperson told the Derry News: "Media reports also wrongly misinterpreted a Saoradh statement released in the aftermath of Saturday's attack. The statement merely pointed out that the revolutionary attack on a British institution happened on the centenary of Soloheadbeg and that 100 years on we are still partitioned."
The party also said that seven of its members were arrested in the wake of the bomb attack in "heavy handed raids lasting several hours at time", but that they were later released unconditionally.
"The reason behind these futile attacks is simple. Saoradh are a thorn in the side of the British establishment and as an ant-agreement party have been the focus of British crown force harassment. Saoradh are a revolutionary socialist party and as such we are engaged in social and working class community based activity with a strategic imperative of preparing and organising Saoradh for a successful revolution," the Saoradh spokesperson said.
And, in a verbal swipe at other nationalists and republicans the spokesperson continued: "Whilst constitutional nationalists, men of cloth and former republicans condemn the actions of republican revolutionaries, Saoradh takes into consideration the wider aspects of the current political sphere.
"With that being said Saoradh recognise the historical and contemporary realpolitik that demonstrates as long as imperialism remains the dominant power there will be men and women willing to engage in revolutionary armed struggle.
"The policy put in place by former republicans of criminalising who do not agree with the current political dimension hasn't gone unnoticed by those within our communities.
"Furthermore, as these raids continue to happen, those who have been elected on the backs of republicanism sit in pro-establishment talking shops and bury their heads in the sand as they watch our communities being destroyed by an unwanted occupying force.
"It would seem British Crown Forces and their lackies are determined to break revolutionary politics in this city. The continuous harassment hasn't worked in the past and it won't work in the future. Saoradh have been to the fore in developing republican socialist links via popular assemblies and this clearly unnerves our British occupiers."
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