from Saoirse, August 2010
THROUGHOUT June and July members of the Officer Board of Republican Sinn
Féin, including the President, Des Dalton, met with members of the
organisation in all four provinces and in England following the departure
of some members (see June SAOIRSE).
This splinter group has set up an organisation which they call ‘RSF – Real
Sinn Féin’ and has embarked an a policy of disinformation aimed at
confusing Republicans who have remained faithful to Republican Sinn Féin
and the Republican Movement in general.
Articles in both the broadsheet and tabloid newspapers have made claims
that the bulk of the Republican Movement is with this splinter group. The
articles in the tabloid papers in particular contained scurrilous attacks
on members of the true Republican Movement. These included threats to our
offices and to SAOIRSE.
Republican Sinn Féin is intact throughout the country. A small number have
left the organisation but in some areas people have returned to the
Movement. At meetings in Munster, Leinster, Connacht, Ulster and London
members of the organisation reaffirmed their allegiance to Republican Sinn
Féin and the aims and objectives of the Republican Movement. We have
received messages of support from supporters in the USA and in Europe.
On July 27 Kevin Devlin, Assistant PRO, Republican Sinn Féin, said:
“Following recent statements and letters from a Limerick-based splinter
group styling itself as “RSF, Real Sinn Féin” which have made their way
into the Irish News (Belfast) unquestioned and unchallenged, we feel
obliged to put the record straight on a few issues raised.
”This group does not speak for, and indeed is not qualified to speak for
any part of the Republican Movement. The bruised egos at the head of this
outfit are former members of Republican Sinn Féin who failed in an attempt
to usurp Sinn Féin and “took the ball home” when they didn’t get their own
”They have made up a name for themselves with the same initials as
Republican Sinn Féin with the clear purpose of creating the maximum amount
of confusion in the people’s mind.
“Republicans reject the spin of these self-serving individuals and their
The following statement was supplied to media sources, including SAOIRSE,
by the Irish Republican Publicity Bureau on August 5:
“We have been asked to release the following statement re the Irish Times,
“The interview given by the latest splinter group to break away from the
Republican Movement to the Irish Times (July 28) is a tissue of falsehood
and fabrication mixed with gross exaggerations.
“It is the culmination of a campaign of untruth that began at the end of
September last when a change in the Presidency of Republican Sinn Féin was
announced to a meeting of An Ard Chomhairle.
“The tabloid press was the vehicle used Sunday after Sunday to sow distrust
and confusion in the ranks. The leadership believes that elements now
associated with the splinter group were responsible for this activity.
“The most serious charge made was that ‘over €20,000’ was misappropriated
by a prominent Republican in Belfast. This matter was enquired into
thoroughly, the sum of money was found to have been far less than was
stated and was in fact accounted for. There was no question of it being put
to personal use. However the subject was used for personal attacks on the
person concerned and is now being raised again.
“It has been made into a case of character assassination and is on a par
with the outrageous charges relating to other matters made from the same
quarter against personnel on the national officer board of Republican Sinn
Féin. These allegations were later withdrawn.
“Such matters could not be dealt with through the mechanism of a Continuity
Army convention and the judgement of the leadership was that for security
reasons such should not be held.
“Nothing was apparently said in the interview about the question of a
‘broad front’ with other organisations. This matter has been one of
contention for some years and has been rejected by the leadership and by
successive Ard-Fheiseanna of Republican Sinn Féin.
“In an interview with the Sunday Times of June 6 a spokesperson for the
splinter group ‘urged the leadership of the Real IRA (RIRA) and of Óglaigh
na h-Éireann (OnH) to unite’ with them.
“The splinter group’s proposal for a merger was turned down by the
principal organisation and nothing more has been heard of it.
“In Limerick a body calling itself ‘Limerick Independent Republican
Organisation (LIRO)’ has emerged, only to adopt the name RSF ‘Real Sinn
Féin’ in order to cause maximum confusion in the public mind. Those were
the people who called for ‘Republican unity’ on Easter Sunday last.
“Talk of a ‘takeover’ and of ‘95%’ of personnel joining the splinter group
is totally ridiculous. Other expressions such as ‘North versus South’ and
‘old versus young’ are rank Provo-speak. We have heard it all before,
especially in 1986.
“The splinter group people should go their own way and cease using the name
of the Republican Movement. They should quit calling at the homes of
faithful Republicans late at night and in numbers.
“They should stop attempting to intimidate sellers of SAOIRSE-Irish Freedom
from carrying out their work. This was particularly the case when the June
issue carried statements on the front page answering calls to hand over our
offices and our newspaper.
“These people are diverting attention from the Republican prisoners in
Maghaberry jail, Co Antrim, now in their ninth week of a ‘dirt strike’ for
political status as an escalation of their protest since Easter.
“Meanwhile the true Republican Movement continues to pursue its historic
aims and calls for increased support at home and abroad.
“(Signed) B Ó Ruairc, Rúnaí.”