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Real IRA claim they murdered drug dealer

A group claiming to be the Real IRA has said it was responsible for the murder of Gerard Staunton in the Cork suburb of Wilton last week.

In a statement issued to a local newspaper in Cork, a group claiming to be the 32-County Sovereignty Movement said that the Real IRA killed Staunton, alleging he was a drug dealer.

Gerard 'Topper' Staunton (42) was gunned down at Westlawn estate on the Sarsfield Road last Wednesday. He had a criminal conviction for drug offences.

Meanwhile, the statement from a group claming to be the 32 County Sovereignty Movement -- the political wing of the RIRA -- has threatened further action against drug dealers.

"In our last statement, we warned drug dealers to cease their activities, but despite several individuals stopping following lengthy interrogation by ourselves, there were those who chose to continue," the statement read.

And in a chilling warning, the statement added: "For those who still have a chance to stop today, we ask you to embrace this opportunity or run the risk of suffering the same fate."

Senior gardai have pointed out that various groups may falsely claim that they carried out particular actions. The fact that a shotgun was used and an 18-year-old van was deployed as the getaway vehicle has led gardai to be sceptical of the reports.

No-one has been arrested for the murder to date.

hnews@independent.ie