New IRA says it carried out attempted murder of PSNI officer

Dissident organisation posts statement on Derry wall claiming responsibility for attack

The New IRA has purportedly claimed responsibility for the shooting of a senior off-duty PSNI officer.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell remains critically ill in hospital. He was shot four times in front of his son while loading footballs into the boot of his car at a leisure complex in Omagh last Wednesday.

A typed statement has appeared on a wall in Derry signed by “T O’Neill”, a name used by the dissident republican group in the past.

It says: “The Irish Republican Army claim responsibility for the military operation targeting senior Crown Force member John Caldwell.


“An active service unit of the IRA were in position to target the enemy within our chosen kill zone with other armed volunteers giving cover.

“All volunteers returned safely to base.

“Irish Republican Army intelligence are now in possession of security information regarding the out of bounds movement of Crown Force personnel.

“We would say this, you still have to try and live a normal life day-to-day, one of these days the IRA will be waiting. T O’Neill.”

The dissident group, who are the prime suspects in the shooting of Detective Chief Inspector, have previously claimed responsibility for acts by posting notices around the streets of Derry.

They call themselves the IRA, but are usually referred to as the New IRA to distinguish them from the Provisional IRA.

The statement cannot be verified as authentic, but it has, nevertheless, attracted widespread condemnation across the political spectrum in Northern Ireland.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie tweeted: “IRA making it clear they knew the threat to children but simply didn’t care. Sick & depraved individuals. #NoGoingBack”.

Sinn Féin MLA Patsy McGlone tweeted: “To those who organised and carried out this and similar such attacks: nothing you have done contributes in any conceivable way to the reconciliation and unity of the people of Ireland – it never could. Lán stad.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times