'The penalty is death' – New Irish paramilitary group 'IRM' warn 'we will target Crown forces'

'The penalty is death' – New Irish paramilitary group 'IRM' warn 'we will target Crown forces'

A NEW dissident republican group identifying themselves as the Irish Republican Movement (IRM) have warned they will "actively target Crown forces".

In a statement issued today through Irish News, the group said that British soldiers involved in policing republican commemorations in Northern Ireland, as well as PSNI officers, would be met with violence by their members.

The group also released a photo showing five of its members with camouflage jackets, balaclavas, guns, ammunition and what appears to be a pipe bomb.

The threat comes after the Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to the bloody Troubles era in Nortern Ireland, celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this week.

The 'IRM' also threatened to execute burglars and drug dealers, adding that the "penalty is death" for anyone selling drugs in nationalist neighbourhoods.

The group is understood to be based in Belfast and west Tyrone and is thought to be made up of former members of Oglaigh na hEireann – another paramilitary group which recently declared a ceasefire.

They are understood to have access to weapons as evidenced by the photograph above.

It comes after the Good Friday Agreement turned 20 earlier this week (Image: RollingNews.ie)

Speaking today, Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly called on the group to "disband and get off the back of the community".

The North Belfast MLA added: "There is absolutely no place for this group. It seems this latest group has emerged from yet another split which is testament to the lack of any cohesion, strategy, support or credibility within dissident republican circles.

"Instead of issuing threatening statements to newspapers, what they should be doing is getting off the stage and off the backs of the community.”

SDLP deputy leader Nichola Mallon also slammed the foundation of the new extremist group.

She said: "Paramilitaries are not interested in providing solutions to the growing drug problems in our community.

"They're only interested in exploiting this issue to further their own agenda. Hooded vigilantes are as much a scourge on our society as drug dealers.”

Despite the disturbing nature of their threats, the 'IRM' have been mocked on social media for the "low budget" look of their members – and especially those lilac gloves.

One Twitter user wrote: "So much to laugh at here. And I really think laughter is the appropriate response. The grimy box room in their ma's house. The flag which is clearly just out of the packet. The broken trestle table. That cheeky jeans and camouflage ensemble.

"And most of all...those lilac gloves.”

Another joked: "Lilac gloves, fancy painted wall and a gun man who doesn't know how to hold a gun – priceless.”