AP front 1 - 2022

28 January 1999 Edition

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IRA denies FAIT claims

Claims by the British government funded FAIT organisation that the IRA has been involved in a coordinated series of so-called punishment attacks have been refuted by an IRA spokesperson who contacted An Phoblacht.

FAIT's claim of ``IRA involvement in a series of so-called punishment attacks is completely bogus,'' the spokesperson said.

The IRA's comments on the FAIT claims come at a time when the credibility of the NIO front organisation is coming in for serious questioning.

In recent weeks FAIT main spokesperson Vincent McKenna has had to field questioning by the media over his arrest in Monaghan two weeks ago.

Admitting in last week's Andersonstown News that Gardai questioned him about child sex abuse cases McKenna outrageously claimed that the IRA handed over machine guns, uncovered by the Gardai in return for having him (McKenna) questioned.

According to the report in the West Belfast-based paper the Gardai questioned him closely about child sex abuse.

In recent weeks FAIT, along with the Unionists, British Tories as well as pro-Unionist Labour politicians have embarked on a serious campaign to undermine the peace process where they have raised the question of so-called punishment attacks.

Indeed the British parliament has debated the issue on Wednesday afternoon where British MPs have linked the issue to prisoner releases which they are demanding be stopped.

And it comes as no surprise that these anti-Republican elements, whose agenda is to wreck the peace, have ignored the ongoing loyalist campaign against Catholics and the increase in RUC harassment.

In the past three weeks numerous nationalists have been approached by the RUC who attempted to recruit them as informers.

Questions over McKenna's future with FAIT also seem to be in the balance at this time.

On two ocassions in the last month an anonymous caller has been in touch with An Phoblacht accusing McKenna of bringing the organisation into disrepute and claimng that a recent story written by Hugh Jordan in the Sunday World, in which McKenna said the IRA had offered a loyalist paramilitary £5,000 to shoot McKenna was a red herring.

The caller maintained that no such threat was made. Also the anonymous caller, who seems to be close to the FAIT man, said that claims in a Sunday paper that republicans in Armagh were about to embark on a campaign of attacks came from McKenna but that McKenna made the claims up.


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1