Paramilitaries threaten British army recruits

Irish people considering joining the British army have been warned by paramilitaries that they would be “regarded as legitimate targets”.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman and Limerick TD Niall Collins yesterday demanded immediate Government action on the threat made at a weekend paramilitary gathering in Limerick

Mr Collins said the latest public display of men in paramilitary uniforms was a disgrace and must be dealt with.

A parade to commemorate 1950s republican Sean South was led by men in military fatigues to Mount St Lawrence cemetery from Limerick City centre.

A speaker on behalf of Continuity IRA prisoners in Portlaoise prison told the gathering of about 70 people: “We have seen in recent years, in the city of Limerick, that Irish men are considering a career in the British army.

“Whether they are motivated by financial reasons or a sense of adventure, we take this opportunity to say that the moment they don a British uniform, you become a legitimate target for the IRA.”

Last month, gardaí in Limerick uncovered a plot by republican dissidents to target a local man, serving in the British army, during a planned Christmas visit to his family.

Mr Collins said: “We had the Alan Ryan funeral in Dublin, where there was an open display of paramilitary type activity and the discharge of live rounds of ammunition.

“I think the display in Limerick was quite serious and I am glad to hear that the gardaí had a very strong presence there.

“We had the threat to a Limerick man serving in the British army. Unfortunately, there is a trend there, and these people are not carrying out any of these activities in the name of republicanism.

“It maddens me to hear these people described as dissident republicans. They are just plain and simple criminals, and I think the Government have to step up the efforts that will be required to eradicate these people out of our community.

“Not alone are they issuing a threat to people’s lives, which is most serious, but it should not be countenanced in any civilised society. They are also inflicting serious reputational damage on Limerick, Dublin and, indeed, on the country.

“From that point of view, the Government needs to take the growing trend we have seen in this recently, quite seriously, and come up with an action plan... which will see An Garda Síochána fully resourced to deal with it and to eliminate it once and for all.”

Gardaí are investing events and what was said at the gathering.

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