28/03/2002

IRA Easter message says support for united Ireland is growing

In their annual Easter message, the IRA have said that support for a united Ireland is growing.

In a statement published in Thursday’s edition of ‘An Phoblacht/Republican News’ the IRA said that the republican analysis is gaining ground and also anticipates electoral success for Sinn Fein in the south's general election.

Dispensing with some of the more revolutionary language of last year, the paramilitary group’s statement stressed the democratic aspects of republicanism and the growing popularity of the republican viewpoint.

The statement, however, contained no mention of the decommissioning Sir Ronnie Flanagan had predicted earlier this week.

The IRA, clearly mindful of the Republic’s upcoming general election, made its traditional call for Irish unity couched in terms of political analysis and electioneering.

In the statement, the IRA said: "More and more people understand and embrace the republican analysis. Their voice and their demands for the reunification of Ireland grows stronger day by day."

Signed as always by P O'Neill, the statement went on to say that Sinn Fein has increased its electoral mandate in Northern Ireland to "unprecedented levels", and: "The army recognises the duty of all republicans and nationalists to support this project."

The IRA then called on the British government and the unionist leadership to fulfil their obligations, but also pointed to the Irish government to meet "its responsibility" in the north.

(GMcG)

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