Irish terror groups banding together to form new IRA

Three of the four main dissident republican terror groups in Northern Ireland are to merge and reclaim the banner of the IRA, in an escalation of attempts to de-stabilise power sharing.

The Real IRA has been joined by Republican Action Against Drugs, which has been running a violent vigilante campaign in Derry, and a coalition of independent armed republican groups – leaving only the Continuity IRA outside the new group.

In a statement released to the Guardian, the new organisation claimed it had formed a “unified structure, under a single leadership”. It said the organisation would be “subservient to the constitution of the Irish Republican Army”.

This is the first time since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that a majority of the forces of dissident republicanism has coalesced.