Social media accounts for dissident republican group suspended

The social media accounts for dissident republican group Saoradh have been suspended.

Facebook and Twitter have removed the profiles of the Londonderry-based faction of Saoradh.

Saoradh, liberation in Irish, is a grouping which has the support of the dissident republican group the New IRA.

The New IRA is being blamed for shooting journalist Lyra McKee on April 18.

The gunman was aiming at police during disturbances in the Creggan when he hit the 29-year-old, who died in Altnagelvin Hospital in the city.

The New IRA is an amalgam of armed groups opposed to the peace process and it recently claimed responsibility for parcel bombs sent to London and Glasgow in March.

The murder has been widely condemned across the political spectrum, criticism fuelled by a statement released by the group apologising to the family of Ms McKee.

Saoradh’s national chairman Brian Kenna called for the New IRA to apologise for the murder during a speech at Milltown Cemetery on Easter Monday.

The group holds a number of social media profiles, however the main Saoradh profile on both platforms has been suspended, and the Twitter profile of one of their national executive members appears to have been deleted.

A Twitter spokesman told the Press Association: “We have clear terms of service in place which we enforce when violations are identified.”

The Facebook accounts of the Dublin, Armagh and Belfast based Saoradh offices remain online, however many of the posts are now filled with comments referencing the death of Ms McKee.

Both social media giants have come under increased pressure to act on accounts deemed to be spreading hate or cyber bullying.

Facebook removed anti-Islamic activist Tommy Robinson’s official page and Instagram profile in February.

The former English Defence League (EDL) leader was said to have been engaging in “organised hate”.