10 November 2005

CIRA – 'We did not kill Armagh man'

Daily Ireland

Republican group moves to end speculation on murder

Connla Young

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“Mr Conlon was never a member of the Continuity IRA and never had any dealings with the Continuity IRA. It is not for us to speculate why he was shot”

The Continuity IRA has moved to end speculation that it was behind the murder of County Armagh man Martin Conlon.
In an exclusive interview the Officer Commanding the organisation’s Armagh City unit told Daily Ireland that 35-year-old Mr Conlon was not killed by the armed republican group.
Mr Conlon died after being shot several times in the head on Monday evening. He had earlier been dragged from a friend’s house in the Monaghan Road area of the city.
In recent days certain media reports have speculated that Mr Conlon may have been murdered after a fall out between armed anti Good Friday Agreement groups in Armagh City. The Continuity IRA’s Armagh City OC, accompanied by his second in command, last night said Mr Conlon was not a member of the organisation and slammed reports that republican groupings are at loggerheads in the Cathederal City.
“The Continuity IRA had nothing to do with the murder of Martin ‘Golfball’ Conlon. There is absolutely no conflict with the different republican groups in Armagh City. We have a good working relationship with other republican groups in this city. Despite what has been suggested there is no dispute involving either Continuity IRA or Real IRA prisoners either. Mr Conlon was never a member of the Continuity IRA and never had any dealings with the Continuity IRA. It is not for us to speculate why he was shot.
The senior CIRA man also moved to end speculation locally that Mr Conlon may have been killed because he was working with British security services. The unemployed lorry driver’s body was discovered dumped a short distance from the scene of a recently failed CIRA bomb attack leading some to speculate that the murder site was symbolic.
“We can claim responsibility for the anti-personnel booby trap device left outside Armagh last week. We phoned in two warnings and the British government jeopardised civilian lives by leaving the device there for two days. Martin Conlon had nothing to do with that incident. An active service unit from Armagh City placed that device it had nothing to do with Martin Conlon, he wouldn’t have known about it. Any speculation to the contrary is wrong.
“We have called this conference out of respect to the Conlon family and make them aware we had nothing to do with his death. We express our sympathy to the family.”
The Continuity IRA spokesman denied that a number of men, including a prominant north Armagh republican, had been ordered out of the country by the group in recent weeks.
“No-one has been expelled from this city. We believe these reports are being generated by British forces trying to fire things up because the organisation is getting support.
The CIRA spokesman reissued a death threat made against three alleged drug dealers ordered out of Keady, County Armagh, several weeks ago.
“Three men were expelled from Keady (County Armagh) a few weeks ago for drug dealing. These three men are dead men walking if they do not leave the country.”

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