From an article in today’s Washington Post assessing recent developments…
Historian Tim Pat Coogan, who has written a history of the IRA, said it is unclear whether Continuity IRA and Real IRA are cooperating or competing with each other. But he said that with these attacks, both splinter groups aim to weaken Sinn Fein’s leadership.
“They are trying to make trouble for Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. They think they were sellouts” for dropping the fight to force Britain out of Northern Ireland, Coogan said in a telephone interview from Dublin.
Although these splinter groups have few members, he said, it does not take much to do damage “if you have an isolated farmhouse at the end of the lane and you get some guns.”
“It has been known for some time that they were gaining strength,” he said about the dissidents, noting that Orde had called for special intelligence reconnaissance teams to return to Northern Ireland and that there had been a surge in attempts against the police.