Pure Derry

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The IRA have issued a flurry of further statements to confirm their stance in the wake of their apparent withdrawal from the peace process last Wednesday and the subsequent damp squib of media attention they felt their words received.

Receiving something of a lukewarm reaction, their original warning was followed immediately the next day with a second, stronger statement, laying down an implicit warning to NI politicos and secureocrats not to 'underestimate' the seriousness of the situation, but was again met with something of a low key reception.

A flurry of further statements were then issued through An Phoblacht to get across their true meaning. Statement three warned "Naw, seriously, like, don't underestimate us, we are snappin". Statement four, delivered 2 hours later in pictorial form, showed an IRA man shaking his fist towards the camera in what Secretary of state Paul Murphy has described as "a mildly threatening manner". The statement was later updated to show the balaclava clad man shaking both fists, receiving no comment in the press however.

An hour later it would be statement five hitting the headlines as the IRA declared the current situation was "scarier than when you're in a friend's house at a party and you do a shit and it won't flush away". Speaking from a meeting in Downing Street, David Trimble acknolwledged that this was possibly "some kind of sign of a minor blip in the peace process".

It was the joint sixth and seventh statements delivered 20 minutes later that really attempted got the attention of the public however, as IRA skywriters flew over Hillsborough and Stormont in a daring display to inscribe in coloured-cloud form the words, "BOOO!!!" and "GAAAAAARGH!!!" respectively. Walkers-by are described to have found it "slightly un-nerving" but not very interesting.

On Sunday the IRA tried their most audacious attempt yet to attract attention, by hiring the artist formerly known as Prince to perform a specially written song, "We will kill you all shortly", from Derry's guildhall square. The song consisted of 4 minutes of republican sloganeering and point by point breaking down of their achievements duing the peace process and then 15 minutes of machine gun fire to the tune of Purple Rain. Only Prince's mother showed up however, and she is reported to have regarded it as "a bit lame".

The IRA have said they do not intend to stop trying to put across their message until they believe it has been fully understood by the public, and have only hinted at this week's itinerary for releases, although a 50 foot day-glo Easter Lily is reported to be under construction in the West Belfast docklands.

"I'm not going to give anything away," said one IRA insider about this week's statement, "but i'll just say that if you're planning to see the Moscow State Circus, Mamma Mia or Westlife this week, their performers may well be otherwise engaged"

Added the insider, "We would advise all epileptic citizens to stay away".

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