THE NEW IRA has declared the Good Friday Agreement ‘dead’ and warned that any Brexit border infrastructure will "be a legitimate target for attack and armed actions".
Speaking to Channel 4 News, in what is thought to be their first on-camera interview in decades, a masked member of the dissident group predicted violent repercussions in the event of any “hard” border or checkpoints being introduced on the island of Ireland.
“First of all, there is no such thing as an Irish border. It’s a British border,” he said.
"Since its formation, since its inception the purpose of the IRA has been to take action against all such infrastructure of British occupation.
“The IRA is an army. And as an army we are committed to armed struggle for political and social change in Ireland.
"Bearing in mind any installation or aspects of British occupation within the six counties - be it at the border or elsewhere - any infrastructure would be a legitimate target for attack and armed actions against those infrastructures and against the people who are manning them.”
The spokesman, who was interviewed on condition of his identity being disguised and his voice not being recorded on Tuesday, said he was given permission by the IRA Army Council.
The disguised dissident insisted a country under occupation by Britain as in any colonial situation “the people have the right there to respond by all means necessary to that occupation”.
“Regardless of the form of occupation, whatever kind of border there is, be it soft or so-called hard border - that’s irrelevant,” the New IRA Member added.
“We are talking about an illegal occupation here that means the IRA reserved the right to attack those who are upholding that illegal occupation along the border and elsewhere and the illegal partition that goes with it. And those who are upholding that.
“The EU and the British and the 26-country administration constantly speak about the border as if it has been there two minutes and it’s only an issue with Brexit.
“There’s been a border since 1921. It’s been resisted. It is being resisted. It will be resisted regardless of any deal formed around it.”
The masked spokesperson told Channel 4 the interview was being conducted with the permission of the IRA Army Council.
It took place in an IRA safehouse with neither the journalist nor cameraman involved aware of the location, having been transported there under tight security conditions.
The dissident group hit the headlines earlier this year following the shocking murder of journalist Lyra McKee last April.
More recently, the New IRA detonated a car bomb outside of a courthouse in Derry.
Asked if the group would apologise for the murder of McKee, the dissident group’s spokesperson replied “absolutely”.
“We listened to calls from the Republican base at the time, including but not exclusively Saoradh [the legal political organisation close to the group known as the New IRA] who rightly called for the IRA to take responsibility for the tragic loss of Lyra McKee’s life and to apologise.
“As we stated at the time, the loss of any civilian life in the conflict is a tragedy and we directly apologised at the time to her partner, her family and her friends and on behalf of the IRA I reiterate that apology now.”