The Speaker
Tuesday, 18 June 2024 – 17:33

Police in Derry Arrest Two Men from the ‘New IRA’ in Relation to the Londonderry Attack

Not 24 hours ago, Londonderry, a town on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland faced an attack by what is assumed to be a dissident republican group of the New IRA.

Two men in their 20s have now been associated and arrested for the attack on Saturday, say the Police in Londonderry.


Who are the New IRA?

The Irish Times, upon the New IRA’s formation in 2012, termed the faction the “most dangerous of the dissident groupings” after claiming responsibility for the murder of a Belfast prison officer.

The previous ambitions of the group have been to kill civil and military servants, from police officers to soldiers and off-duty militants.

In 2012, it was the IRA’s intent to band together and unify the different groupings that had splintered off from the original IRA in disagreements over military police, participation in Parliament and the Good Friday Agreement continuing from the 1960’s.

The two men who were arrested for their involvement in the bombing are thought to be a splinter faction of the ‘New IRA’, the largest dissident group of the IRA.


“This pointless act of terror must be condemned in the strongest terms. Grateful to our emergency services for their swift actions which helped ensure there have been no fatalities or injuries,” Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster said on Twitter. 

The pizza delivery van was taken by the two armed men at approximately 18:00 GMT. The two men were armed and are not known to have been carrying the device at the time.

Upon further forensics, the PSNI has termed the attempted murder of several civilians as “unbelievably reckless” with such a “crude device”.

It was only with an anonymous call to the Samaritans that the police were able to corner off the street and evacuate nearby buildings, in time.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from the call. 150 people from the Masonic Hall and children who were attending a church youth activity.

However, with the call being made 3 minutes after the bomb was parked outside of Bishop Street Courthouse, it within the parameters of previous attacks by the IRA, that this call was likely a ploy to kill the police officers on duty, at the scene.

“In the intervening minutes we had already found the car and were starting to evacuate the area,” said ACC Hamilton.

“Thankfully, the local community and the police service acted bravely together and we got everybody away just in time.

“But the bomb detonated just as we were leaving the area.”

A local resident, Greg McLaughlin, described the blast.

“We knew it was quite close.

“It was very, very loud. I knew right away this was a bomb,” he said.

“You could see the ball of fire on the street… I haven’t heard anything like it in Derry for quite a while.”

Less than 24 hours after the attempt at widespread chaos in Derry, Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, said businesses were back up and running, with no delays in service, and with unwavering resilience, Colin says “[they] will not deter us from opening today and getting on with the job”.


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