TECHNOLOGY

SUE REID reports on a worsening situation in Northern Ireland


Eight staccato shots from a pistol fire in the air over an open coffin lying in the grass in a suburban garden. The dead man's face is clearly visible.

Behind him stands a large, masked figure in paramilitary black. When the last shot sounds, another man in a business suit applauds.

The shooter remains hidden in the threatening video that was shot a few weeks ago. Only his hand, wearing a blue latex glove to hide his fingerprints, can be seen when he pulls the trigger.

Despite the noble ambitions of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, it has become clear that parts of Northern Ireland remain bitter and dangerously divided, writes SUE REID. Above: On the night of the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in April, gasoline bombs are dropped on the police

But that's not the most shocking aspect of this sinister scene. There is a group of children just a few meters from the coffin, two of whom are only seven or eight years old.

They ceremoniously watch the farewell of a convicted Irish Republican Army (IRA) murderer behind a house on Falls Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

When the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, then US President Bill Clinton said it "paved the way for people … to build a society based on lasting peace, justice and equality".

Despite these noble ambitions, it has become clear that parts of Northern Ireland remain bitter and dangerously divided.

The casualty was Alex Murphy, a former IRA kingpin who was imprisoned in Belfast in 1988, a decade before the agreement was signed, after the street murder of two British army corporals.

The soldiers were pulled out of their car by a mob after getting into the mourning community of an IRA militant: they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

While terror is glorified here and attracts local youth, it is also peace, writes SUE REID. Above: A car is set on fire in Creggan, Londonderry, near the site where Lyra McKee was murdered in April

While terror is glorified here and attracts local youth, it is also peace, writes SUE REID. Above: A car is set on fire in Creggan, Londonderry, near the site where Lyra McKee was murdered in April

But Mr. Murphy's "military" funeral – his black IRA beret and leather gloves put on his coffin in awe – is not the only evidence that has recently raised fears about the future of peace.

Mail in Belfast noted that groups are becoming more willing to commit violence and are threatening the troubled peace that has existed on the island of Ireland for a generation.

They are accused of exploiting concerns about the possibility of establishing a new hard or “soft” border after the Brexit between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic, which will remain part of the EU.

Who is the new IRA?

The New IRA is the largest Republican dissident group in Northern Ireland.

It has been linked to four murders, including PC Ronan Kerr, who was killed by a bomb under the car in Omagh in 2011.

The group is also linked to the deaths of prison officials David Black, who was shot dead in 2012 while driving to work in Maghaberry prison, and Adrian Ismay, who died in 2016 after a bomb detonated under his van outside his East Belfast home was.

It is believed that the New IRA was founded between 2011 and 2012 after the merger of several smaller groups, including the Real IRA – the group behind the 1998 Omagh bomb.

It is strongest in Derry, North and West Belfast, Strabane in Co Derry, Lurgan in Co Armagh and bags from Tyrone.

This year the group was responsible for a car bomb outside the courthouse on Bishop Street in Derry.

The explosive-laden car was parked on the street in the city center on a Saturday evening in January, and dozens of people, including a group of teenagers, had passed before it exploded.

The New IRA also called for a series of package bombs to be fired at targets in London and Glasgow in March.

It's a technical problem that showed no sign of a solution after Boris Johnson's visit to Dublin yesterday – his first meeting with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar since entering No. 10.

According to a joint statement released later, "a common foundation has been created in some areas, although there are still significant gaps".

Meanwhile, the attitudes behind the ongoing violence in Ireland continue to take place on social media.

The footage of a party at a Republican pub in Belfast has been put online.

It shows primary school age Catholic children singing and dancing to a pro IRA song with a chorus line: "We hate the queen."

The adolescents, who wave their hands delightfully in the air, know the texts and memorize them.

The video is likely to be investigated by the Belfast police as a hate crime.

It has been reported by Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) politician Jim Wells.

The party has its own radical history, and some of its supporters are historically linked to the Ulster Defense Association (UDA) loyalist paramilitary group.

But Mr. Wells told the mail: “I was deeply horrified by this event, which indoctrinated children and promoted hatred and bitterness.

"What was even more scary is that adults in the film clearly encouraged their children to join in by cheering them on."

If that weren't shocking enough, a third video has appeared showing Protestant teenagers singing a hideous song in a Belfast bar after an international football game in Northern Ireland.

In the national team's jerseys they sing: "We hate Catholics, we hate Catholics" after a pop song from the 1980s.

A Catholic soccer player from Northern Ireland said: "These people are savages … something like that happened 40 years ago. It wasn't acceptable then, not today. & # 39;

How can such disruptive events happen years after a world-acclaimed peace deal?

The truth is that militant sectarianism has returned to the island with deadly violence.

In March, five packages of explosives were shipped to addresses across the UK and across the Republic.

They were sent from an outfit called New IRA to London's Waterloo Station, buildings near Heathrow and London City airports, and the University of Glasgow.

Another letter bomb was found in a postal depot in County Limerick.

Ms. McKee was standing next to a police vehicle on the Creggan estate in Londonderry when she was shot in the head by a shooter from the new IRA group in April

Ms. McKee was standing next to a police vehicle on the Creggan estate in Londonderry when she was shot in the head by a shooter from the new IRA group in April

A month later, 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was killed in riots in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Mobile and CCTV footage of the night shows a man firing a pistol at the police.

McKee, who was standing near an armored police car, was shot in the head and later died in the hospital.

Her murder was believed to have been committed by the New IRA.

Until June there were more problems. The New IRA took responsibility for a bomb that allegedly contained "high-performance plastic explosives" that had been placed under a police car in a golf club in East Belfast.

The head of the Northern Ireland Police Department's Terrorism Investigation Department said: "It was clearly intended to kill the policeman … It is very fortunate that this device was discovered before it exploded."

The following month, Republican dissidents attempted to murder police officers in an attack in Craigavon, County Armagh.

And just a few weeks ago, a bomb exploded in Fermanagh, another of Northern Ireland's six boroughs, which police said was part of an attempt to lure British army officers and bomb disposal experts to their deaths.

This CCTV image shows the man (circled) suspected of firing the shots that killed Lyra McKee during a protest in Londonderry on Thursday, April 18

This CCTV image shows the man (circled) suspected of firing the shots that killed Lyra McKee during a protest in Londonderry on Thursday, April 18

The leader of Saoradh ("liberation" in Irish) – a party widely regarded as the political wing of the New IRA – recently warned that the continuation of violence was "inevitable".

In an interview on Sky News, Saoradh leader Brian Kenna refused to condemn Lyra McKee's murder and only said it was "unfortunate."

McKee's partner Sara Canning called his statements "horrific".

Mr. Kenna, a convicted IRA member who has been detained for ten years because of his involvement in an armed robbery, denied any knowledge of the armed man who, despite police searches, disappeared on both sides of the open border.

He also denied any overlap between his party and the New IRA, although the police claimed the two groups were "inextricably linked".

All of this is happening amid great controversy in Northern Ireland over whether Brexit threatens the open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

An emotional report from Unesco officials claims that violence could explode in just six weeks after a no-deal Brexit and the subsequent introduction of border controls.

The open border, which enables the free movement of people and goods on the island of Ireland, was anchored in the Good Friday Agreement to pacify those who seek to unite.

Now the new IRA groups have been accused of using Brexit as a made-up excuse to return to violence.

This can have more than one core of truth.

Residents were evacuated when a suspicious device was found in a house in Creggan Heights, Londonderry on Monday. It was close to where the journalist Lyra McKee was shot in April

Residents were evacuated when a suspicious device was found in a house in Creggan Heights, Londonderry on Monday. It was close to where the journalist Lyra McKee was shot in April

Last week a masked person with an assault rifle said in an interview on Swedish television that he was a member of the Continuing IRA (Cira) and was responsible for the attacks by Craigavon ​​and Fermanagh on the police.

In a frightening series of statements, the paramilitary Cira said: “These attacks (by IRA volunteers) were a reaction to the British armed forces in the country.

& # 39; The attacks continue. We regrouped, armed & # 39 ;.

When asked if Brexit motivated the attacks, he said, "It doesn't matter what Britain does … We want Britain to be out of Ireland.

"Border posts or military checkpoints across the border give us more ways to attack the Crown Force."

This is consistent with the view of DUP politician Gordon Lyons, who recently warned: “Some in Northern Ireland are still stuck with bombs and bullets.

& # 39; This terrorism precedes the 2016 EU referendum in the UK.

The property was discovered in a house in the Creggan Heights area of ​​Derry in search of bomb-making materials, the PSNI confirmed

The property was discovered in a house in the Creggan Heights area of ​​Derry in search of bomb-making materials, the PSNI confirmed

"There should be no excuse for whether or not there is an agreement when the UK leaves the EU."

Others go on.

DUP's Jim Wells, who alerted the police to the children singing in the "We hate the Queen" pub, said the border problem was "project anxiety at high speed" and "synthetic outrage" staged by paramilitary groups Gaining support for violence.

The Unesco report identified young people in Northern Ireland as a possible threat to peace.

It was argued that the so-called "treaty generation" had no memory of the events that led to the British Army deploying troops in 1969 and remaining until the Good Friday Agreement.

Fatally, according to the Unesco report, older people have not shared this "horror of war" with their children.

Instead, the violence of the problems has been romanticized, making the younger generation particularly vulnerable to getting involved in paramilitary sectarian violence again.

A line of uniformed PSNI officers were seen in the area and entered and left a house in Creggan Heights where the device was believed to be found

A line of uniformed PSNI officers were seen in the area and entered and left a house in Creggan Heights where the device was believed to be found

Can that be true?

It may be. There are posters on the streets of Belfast and on the buses that are paid for by the Northern Irish authorities.

The signs with a vivid photo of a battered face of a teenager warn the boys: “Paramilitaries don't protect you. They control you. & # 39;

Allison Morris, a journalist for the leading Irish News newspaper, has issued a similar warning.

"Almost every recent arrest for dissident republican activity affected people under the age of 40, most in their twenties or thirties, some just teenagers," she says, adding, "The fact that they are recruited into militant groups is one. .. uncanny development. & # 39;

But while the terror is glorified here and attracts local youth, it is also peace.

Last year, 117 cruise ships brought 200,000 visitors to Belfast. More will be added this year.

In surreal scenes in central Belfast, shuttle buses from the cruise ships mingle with ordinary buses that warn the boys about paramilitary terrorist groups.

The tourists, many of them young people, come from America, Canada, Japan and China and come to see peace in action.

At THE Europa Hotel in Belfast, where the Clintons stayed during the peace agreement talks, guests can book the suites that the energy couple founded as part of a marketing campaign.

Meanwhile, visitors queue up to be photographed under a giant mural by IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, who died at the height of problems in a Belfast prison in 1981.

It's less than half a mile from where the convicted murderer Alex Murphy's IRA said goodbye.

Taxi drivers now earn their living by visiting Belfast's monstrous "walls of peace".

Almost 100 of these badly named and ugly buildings were built around Belfast and share Protestant and Catholic quarters.

One went up on the day the Good Friday Agreement was signed – and it is still there.

The largest is on Cupar Way in the east of Belfast. It is made of brick, metal and wire and is up to 20 feet tall. It is full of messages of peace and hope from the tourists.

One wonders, however, how many of these visitors recognize that the wall is not a symbol of peace, but of an ongoing and persistent war.

Protestant children live on one side of the building. On the other hand – just a few meters away – young Catholics live.

They may not meet until they are old enough to work, as 93 percent of state schools and many colleges and universities remain segregated by religion.

At this point, of course, all sectarian attitudes should have tightened.

The sad truth is that the chances that these two groups of children will ever become friends are slim and that there are further fatal consequences in this divided country.

Uncovered: The car bomb & # 39; New IRA & # 39; that the police are supposed to kill & # 39; when up to 80 officers raided Londonderry homes under the flood of Molotov cocktails

Photos have appeared that show the bomb & # 39; New IRA & # 39; show that was spotted in a parked car in Londonderry. Detectives say it was an attempt to murder the police.

The device, which the police said had killed or maimed everyone nearby, was found after up to 80 officers participated in an operation against Republican dissidents.

Northern Ireland's deputy chief of police (PSNI), deputy chief of police Mark Hamilton, said the command-led improvised explosive device was in an "advanced state of readiness" and he believed it would be stored there for later use.

The device would require someone to "stand and watch a passing target" and then send an electrical charge over the command cable.

Scroll down for the video:

Police said the device "killed or maimed someone nearby when it detonated".

Police said the device "killed or maimed someone nearby when it detonated".

According to ACC Hamilton, officials believed the bomb should be used against a police patrol in the area

According to ACC Hamilton, officials believed the bomb should be used against a police patrol in the area

Mark Hamilton, deputy chief of police of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said the improvised explosive device, which was initiated by a command wire, was discovered in a parked vehicle (picture) and was made safe by army bomb disposal experts

Mark Hamilton, deputy chief of police of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said the improvised explosive device, which was initiated by a command wire, was discovered in a parked vehicle (picture) and was made safe by army bomb disposal experts

He said to a press conference this afternoon: “This device was filled with commercial explosives.

& # 39; It was small enough, but in fact the explosion it would have caused would have been very significant.

“In our opinion, this explosion would definitely have killed people nearby. It would probably have hurt many other people. It would have had a very significant explosion.

In my opinion, the device was there to be used against a police patrol in Creggan at some point.

& # 39; We believe that the New IRA is behind it. We believe the New IRA wants to drive the Creggan police out. & # 39;

Northern Ireland's deputy chief of police (PSNI), deputy chief of police Mark Hamilton (pictured today in conversation with the media) said the improvised explosive device initiated by a command wire was in an "advanced state of readiness".

Northern Ireland's deputy chief of police (PSNI), deputy chief of police Mark Hamilton (pictured today in conversation with the media) said the command-led improvised explosive device was in an "advanced state of readiness".

The device was discovered when more than 40 gasoline bombs and other missiles were dropped on the police during the security search

The device was discovered when more than 40 gasoline bombs and other missiles were dropped on the police during the security search

Rioters are then filmed as they run away, while police vehicles are on fire when they are hit with gasoline bombs

Rioters are then filmed as they run away, while police vehicles are on fire when they are hit with gasoline bombs

Fifteen families had to leave their homes after discovering the device in Creggan Heights, but have since returned home at 4 a.m. after being secured.

29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was murdered by the New IRA in the same area in April while watching dissident riots.

The discovery came when more than 40 gasoline bombs and other missiles were dropped on the police during the search for security.

According to the police, 60 to 100 young people were confronted with officials, and at least two of the young people suffered burn injuries when they tried to attack the police cordon with gasoline bombs. No police officers were injured.

Police said today that the bomb found in a parked vehicle in Londonderry was an attempt by the New IRA to murder police officers

Police said today that the bomb found in a parked vehicle in Londonderry was an attempt by the New IRA to murder police officers

Police at the crime scene in Creggan Heights, Londonderry, after residents were evacuated when a suspicious device was found in a house

Police at the crime scene in Creggan Heights, Londonderry, after residents were evacuated when a suspicious device was found in a house

The discovery came when more than 40 gasoline bombs and other missiles were dropped on the police during the search for security (image)

The discovery came when more than 40 gasoline bombs and other missiles were dropped on the police during the search for security (image)

DUP chairwoman Arlene Foster tweeted: “I recommend the police that they have made this area safe.

“Those who cling to the bomb and bullet try to use their community as a shield. For the next generation, these people need to be removed from our streets. & # 39;

Ms. McKee was shot dead in a riot in Creggan in April when she was standing near a police vehicle.

The New IRA later said its members had murdered the 29-year-old who was shot in the head when a masked gunman shot the police and spectators.

Pictured: The mortar grenade that a passerby discovered on a wall in Strabane, County Tyrone, on Saturday morning

Pictured: The mortar grenade that a passerby discovered on a wall in Strabane, County Tyrone, on Saturday morning

Ms. McKee was standing next to a police vehicle on the Creggan estate in Londonderry when she was shot in the head by a shooter from the new IRA group in April

Ms. McKee was standing next to a police vehicle on the Creggan estate in Londonderry when she was shot in the head by a shooter from the new IRA group in April

Yesterday's police searches were launched after a dissident republican mortar bomb was found in Strabane, Co Tyrone on Saturday.

The mortar, which was near a family home, was aimed at the city police station.

Who is the new IRA?

The New IRA is the largest Republican dissident group in Northern Ireland.

It has been linked to four murders, including PC Ronan Kerr, who was killed by a bomb under the car in Omagh in 2011.

The group is also linked to the deaths of prison officials David Black, who was shot dead in 2012 while driving to work in Maghaberry prison, and Adrian Ismay, who died in 2016 after a bomb detonated under his van outside his East Belfast home was.

It is believed that the New IRA was founded between 2011 and 2012 after the merger of several smaller groups, including the Real IRA – the group behind the 1998 Omagh bomb.

It is strongest in Derry, North and West Belfast, Strabane in Co Derry, Lurgan in Co Armagh and bags from Tyrone.

This year the group was responsible for a car bomb outside the courthouse on Bishop Street in Derry.

The explosive-laden car was parked on the street in the city center on a Saturday evening in January, and dozens of people, including a group of teenagers, had passed before it exploded.

The New IRA also called for a series of package bombs to be fired at targets in London and Glasgow in March.

It was the seventh attempted murder of security forces in Northern Ireland this year.

Mr. Hamilton described the operation as "complex" because he condemned those who indulged in disorder.

& # 39; The focus of this operation is on the safety of the people of Creggan. However, it is worrying to see a significant number of young people on the streets late at night throwing gasoline bombs and other missiles at officials in the area, ”he said late Monday evening.

"The reality is that this kind of disruption adds to the complexity of police operations and poses a real risk of injury to those involved."

Karen Mullan, a member of the Sinn Fein Assembly, said the security alert had significantly disturbed local residents. She also condemned the disorder.

"There is absolutely no justification for measures that serve no other purpose than to seriously harm people and worsen the situation for residents trying to continue with their lives and they should stop now," she said.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood called for calm in the region.

"Police officers came to Creggan today to take the bombs out of the hands of those trying to murder innocent people in our communities, like those responsible for the Strabane mortar," the MLA foyle said Monday night.

“The brutal and prolonged attack officers have been trying to protect our community has been disgusting. Young people in this community are manipulated and risk their future. I urge parents to contact their children and get them out of the way.

"The people in this church are not held as ransoms by those who want to hold us all back."

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