We publish this article of the Irish newspaper An Phoblacht Abú on Republican actions in March and April. You can find the whole issue online here.
’Somewhere and somehow and by somebody a beginning must be made.’ James Fintan Lalor
Due to the attempted repression of members of AIA and the editorial staff of An Phoblacht Abú, the April edition of the paper did not include the popular, war news segment. This edition carries an extended article covering the months of March and April 2023.
Late February/Early March – The mainstream media reports on two suspected Republican military operations in Derry. On March 5, Arm na Poblachta, in a statement to the Irish News, claims responsibility for planting an explosive device in the Corrody Rd area of Derry.
March 7– A number of mainstream media outlets report on a bomb at the Castleblaney Road in Keady, Armagh. The RUC [Royal Ulster Constabulary; the colonial police of the six counties, named today the “Police Service of Northern Ireland”– note by Red Herald] establish a large cordon in the area closing 6 roads. Footage released by Republic Media online shows British Helicopters circling the area and British Army troops at the scene. It was further reported that a controlled explosion was carried out.
March 12– The RUC and British Army carry out searches on land at the Brae Head Road area close to the Creggan, Derry. The media links the searches to the IRA, which it refers to as the New IRA.
Sometime later, the RUC and British Army come under attack by Republican youth defending their community and are forced to abandon the search. That evening, following repeated attempted incursions the RUC are again confronted by Republican Youth in the Magowan Park Area and are repeatedly driven out of the community.
March 23 – The RUC report that they have discovered a Republican arms dump on land at the Seskinore Road in Tyrone. Photos released by the media show a revolver, a shotgun and a jar of ammunition. The media state that the find is linked to the IRA, again referred to as the New IRA.
March 28– MI5 increase the Republican threat level from substantial to severe, stating that it is believed that a Republican Military Operation is highly likely and could occur at anytime. This change to the Republican threat level follows a marked increase in Republican military operations from November 2022, since when a military operation has taken place each month against the British forces of Occupation and in some months there have been several separate operations reported by the media.
March 30 – Mainstream media outlets report that a bomb warning was received stating devices had been left he Seagoe Hotel, Portadown, Armagh. Reports suggest the building was evacuated and searched by the RUC. It is further reported that a British Army recruiting event was being held at the hotel at the same time.
April 2– The RUC and British Army carry out extensive searches at the Letterkenny Road area of Derry in a operation they state is linked to the activities of Republican Militants.
April 9– The RUC announces in the media that it has ‘disrupted’ a plan by Republicans to carry out a Military Operation during the state visit of Joe Biden to Ireland, which is set to begin on April 10, the date of the 25th Anniversary of Britain’s Good Friday Treaty in Ireland. No further details are given.
April 10– In a series of dawn raids, the homes of AIA activists are targeted in Dublin and Tipperary. Phones, electronic equipment and personal belongings are siezed and damage is done in the homes of a number of Republican activists under warrants that include searches for Weapons and Ammunition, Possession of Explosives and Membership of an illegal organisation. 2 people are arrested under Section 30 of the offenses against the Free State act, with one being held for 12 hours and one for 48 hours. Both are released without charge. The raids and arrests are clearly part of a coordinated campaign targeting AIA timed to coincide with the visit of Joe Biden and the 25 Anniversary of the Good Friday Treaty.
April 10– The RUC attempts to prevent a 1916 Commemoration in Derry, targeting members and supporters of Saoradh and harrassing the local community. In defence of the community Republican Youth confront the RUC with petrol bombs in the Creggan.
The 1916 Commemoration goes ahead and Derry Republicans honour Ireland’s Patriot Dead with dignity. Members of Anti Imperialist Action were in attendance. The RUC later reports that it found four viable pipe bombs in the City Cemetery where the 1916 Commemoration had taken place.