Friday, 12 November 2010
32 CSM Interview With Cork Independent
Written by Christine Allen
Thursday, 11 November 2010
The 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM) is to vote on whether it will publish a name and shame list of drug dealers in Cork on behalf of the Real IRA, the Cork chairman told the Cork Independent this week. John Murphy from Cork City said the 32CSM would be voting on the issue at an upcoming meeting.
In September 2009, 32CSM issued a death threat statement to drug dealers in Cork City on behalf of Óglaigh na hÉireann, which is part of the Real IRA.
Last month, the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the murders of Cork drug dealers Kieran O'Flynn in 2001 and Gerard Staunton earlier this year, both of which are still under investigation.
Murphy said it was inevitable that armed republicans would take action against drug dealers.
“I don’t think it’s a question of whether the 32CSM supports the execution of drug dealers by the RIRA but, more or less, to recognise that it is inevitable that the likes of armed republicans will eventually take action against that part of our society….borne out of frustration with the Garda Siochána who have failed miserably to tackle this issue, despite being a product of this multi billion-euro economy.”
He said the statement was “sifted through to the 32CSM through the republican network” but said the Cumann has, in the past, voted not to carry some messages from the RIRA.
“But on this issue, because we all felt so strong…most of our members are from lower or working class areas, we on a day-to-day basis see the misery that has been inflicted on the city by drug dealing criminals and basically, we felt that if this would help, we would run with it.”
Mr Murphy said the provisional movement, “which was the original republican movement at one time, has led a whole generation of republicans down the wrong track.”
Murphy denies that the group are political apologists for the Real IRA. Security sources also regard 32CSM as the Real IRA’s political wing, a claim the group denies.
“As far as political apologists – we certainly make no apology for what we believe. Personally, I’m not comfortable with violence. The 32CSM stands alone. We are democratically run and elected organisation, independent of any other organisation, republican or otherwise,” he added.
“Reading the press, we have been called microscopic groups, miniscule, so on and so forth. Yet, at every press conference, (Garda Commissioner) Fachtna Murphy refers to dissident republicans as top of the agenda.”
The group has not just agreed to issue death threats on behalf of Óglaigh na hÉireann, the RIRA militia linked to the Omagh bombing. Murphy claims it is now tackling crime.
“These (issues) range from gangs of youths terrorising neighbourhoods, parents seeking help for their sons and daughters who may have a drug addiction, women suffering from domestic abuse and a wide variety of anti-social behaviour in general.”
He said the dissident movement had been visible since its inception.
“We have been visible with our position of national sovereignty from day one in 1996 and formally since 1997. There is a difference between being visible and having the mainstream media ignore you,” he said.
The movement fundraises in the city for the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA).
“The 32CSM doesn’t need much money to operate but the majority of our funds are channelled through the IRPWA.”
According to the Cork chairman, there are around 20 members in Cork City, who attend the weekly Cumann meetings.
“In Cork City, there is a good mixture of experienced republicans, former members of Sinn Féin and new young members coming along. A lot of young members, and our youngest is 19, would be people lucky to have not gotten swallowed up by drugs culture which sweeps through our city.”
He denied that involvement with the movement was damaging or dangerous for vulnerable youths.
“All our young members have the support of their families. That is made clear to them when they are joining… to make their family aware of because as republicans… we do suffer at the hands of Special Branch harassment,” said Murphy (30), who joined 32CSM when he was 19 after the Good Friday Agreement was implemented.
“Young republicans are coming more into the fore as was also seen outside the Department of Finance recently, where members of 32CSM were at the front line of protests.”
He pointed out that there are also members in West Cork and throughout the county.
“If we wanted, we could have a Cumann of 100 in Cork but we are fairly strict with membership.”
He said he is personally averse to violence.
“I have never been involved in any shape of violence, especially political violence, but obviously, if I though there was a peaceful strategy which protected the right of the Irish people, which is national initially, national sovereignty. 32CSM has never shied away from talks,” he said.
Chief Superintendent Mick Finn was not available to comment at the time of going to press.