An emailed statement to the media purporting to be from CIRA, and which was signed off with a code word, referenced a newspaper article published last weekend in which a group calling itself the “United Criminal Alliance” threatened “Limerick republicans”.
The article in the Daily Star said the alliance had claimed responsibility for the murder of the dissident republican Declan Smith, a friend of slain Dublin Real IRA leader Alan Ryan.
It contained a statement from the alliance which said: “It has come to our attention that members of the Alan Ryan gang are now working with a Limerick gang styling itself Continuity IRA, which threatened Dublin criminals. We will be pursuing the extortionists no matter where they try and hide themselves. We want no more excuses — you have five working days to hand the extortionists over to us or face the inevitable consequences. There will be no intimidation by the Limerick gang.”
Last night’s email from CIRA said: “The dissemination of false accusations along with making threats against members of the Republican Movement will not be tolerated and those responsible for this behaviour will be located and will face severe consequences.”
It said it was not involved in “and is completely opposed to” extortion rackets against criminals.
“It is the opinion of the leadership of the Republican Movement that those who engage in the act of extorting money from criminals are just as bad as the criminals and drug dealers they extort money from.
“These drug dealers and criminals are a cancer on Irish society, and those who extort money from them, and in return allow these criminals and drug dealers to continue their despicable activity are contributing to inflicting the scourge of drugs and crime upon the Irish people.”
However, it said threats made against members of the republican movement were viewed very seriously.
“We now re-state that the CIRA are committed to protecting our volunteers... The CIRA now warn the drug dealers and criminals who style themselves as the ‘United Criminal Alliance’ and are responsible for these threats and false accusations, if any attempts are made by you to harm in any manner, members of the CIRA, their homes or their families, the perpetrators of these attacks will face execution.”
It added that it would also “execute numerous prominent criminals and drug dealers throughout Ireland as a deterrent against further attacks”.
“The CIRA is a 32-county organization and have the ability to strike at will against these criminal and drug dealing elements. The CIRA now order this criminal gang styling itself ‘United Criminal Alliance’ to disband and desist from their nefarious activities immediately or face annihilation.”