Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein dismisses 'hoax' IRA weapons calendar

By Alison Bray
20 December 2004

Sinn Fein last night denied any knowledge of an apparent IRA 2005 calendar that shows colour photographs of provos posing with guns.

The calendar, entitled the Republican Resistance Calendar, contains photographs of figures in balaclavas and camouflage gear posing in shooting stances and holding various weapons, including AK 47s and other assault rifles, in the apparent training photos.

A Sunday tabloid newspaper published the photos yesterday, claiming the calendar was bought by a reporter at Sinn Fein's headquarters on the Falls Road in Belfast for €7.30. The reporter, posing as a Republican sympathiser, claimed he was told the photographs are recent.

However, the origin of the calendar and whether the pictures it contains are real or posed could not be confirmed last night.

Sinn Fein spokesman Michael Nolan denied the party has any knowledge of the calendar.

"I'm not aware of it," he said last night. "The only official Sinn Fein calendar is on our website. I'm not sure where this is coming from."

The official 2005 calendar marks the party's 100th anniversary with a special commemorative edition, depicting such events at the 1916 Rising, the hunger strikes in the '80s and the War of Independence.

Meanwhile, it has been suggested the resistance calendar was published as a hoax in light of the controversy surrounding the stalled Northern Ireland peace process and the DUP's insistence on photographic evidence of IRA arms decommissioning.

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