A number of republican factions have combined forces under a restructured IRA. A statement received by The Anglo-Celt puporting to come from the Army Council of IRA said that the move came as a result of "extensive consultations" and will see formerly disparate groupings operate within a "unified structure".
They claim they are not they are not the aggressors and they are motivaved by "the subversion of the nation's inalienable right to self-determination and this has yet to be addressed."
The Guardian newspaper in England suggest that amongst the groupings are the Real IRA, who carried out the Omagh bombing, and Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD), who have been involved in a number of recent attacks and shootings in Derry, including in February of this year, the murder of father of two Andrew Allen, at his home in Buncrana, County Donegal.
The full IRA statement reads: "Following extensive consultations, Irish republicans and a number of organisations involved in armed actions against the armed forces of the British crown have come together within a unified structure, under a single leadership, subservient to the constitution of the Irish Republican Army.
"The leadership of the Irish Republican Army remains committed to the full realisation of the ideals and principles enshrined in the Proclamation of 1916.
"In recent years the establishment of a free and independent Ireland has suffered setbacks due to the failure among the leadership of Irish nationalism and fractures within republicanism.
"The root cause of conflict in our country is the subversion of the nation's inalienable right to self-determination and this has yet to be addressed. Instead the Irish people have been sold a phoney peace, rubber-stamped by a token legislature in Stormont.
"Non-conformist republicans are being subjected to harassment, arrest and violence by the forces of the British crown; others have been interned on the direction of an English overlord. It is Britain, not the IRA, which has chosen provocation and conflict.
"The IRA's mandate for armed struggle derives from Britain's denial of the fundamental right of the Irish people to national self-determination and sovereignty - so long as Britain persists in its denial of national and democratic rights in Ireland the IRA will have to continue to assert those rights.
"The necessity of armed struggle in pursuit of Irish freedom can be avoided through the removal of the British military presence in our country, the dismantling of their armed militias and the declaration of an internationally observed timescale that details the dismantling of British political interference in our country.
"Signed Army Council … IRA."