Northern Ireland

Dissident republicans launch new political party - Saoradh

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Media captionDavid Jordan, the chair of new dissident republican party Saoradh, accused Sinn Féin of being "false prophets"

Dissident republicans have formed a new political party called Saoradh - the Irish word for liberation.

Several high profile dissidents from both sides of the border were among about 150 people at its first ard fheis (conference) in Newry on Saturday.

Its chairman David Jordan was highly critical of Sinn Féin.

In a clear reference to the party, he referred to "false prophets... defeated and consumed by the very system they claim to oppose".

The party has the support of prisoners from the dissident group referred to as the New IRA in Maghaberry and Portlaoise prisons.

Its constitution says it may, at some point, contest elections.

But it says participation in elections to the assembly, Westminster or the Dáil (Irish parliament) would be on an abstentionist basis, meaning seats would not be taken if a candidate was elected.

Image caption Among those attending the launch was prominent dissident republican Colin Duffy (centre, in blue shirt)

There is no suggestion that the formation of the party is a signal that dissident republican organisations are considering an end to violence.

Mr Jordan made it clear in his speech that dissidents do not intend following Sinn Féin's journey into constitutional politics.

"Our history is littered with the failures of successive ventures into constitutional nationalism, as they were subsumed into the very systems they set out to overthrow," he said.