The Continuity IRA have issued a chilling death threat against any Irishmen or women serving in the British armed forces.

The public warning was made at an annual Sean South commemoration ceremony in a Limerick cemetery.

Irish police watched on as dissident Republicans openly paraded at Mount Saint Lawrence cemetery.

The commemoration was organised by Republican Sinn Fein when a statement was read out on behalf of Continuity IRA prisoners in Portlaoise jail.

The threat was made less than a month after police uncovered a Continuity IRA plot to kill a British soldier during his Christmas trip home to Limerick.

The Irish Independent newspaper reports that Michael Kiely, from Corbally, Limerick, read the Continuity IRA statement in front of 60 people at Sean South’s graveside.

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Kiely said: “We have seen from recent years that in this city of Limerick that Irishmen are considering a career in the British army - the same British army that holds six of our counties.

“Whether they are motivated by financial reasons or a sense of adventurism, we take this opportunity to say that the moment you don a British uniform, you become a legitimate target for the IRA.”

The crowd also heard Kiely warn that police officers serving in the North are also ‘legitimate targets’.

He added: “The lessons of Irish history teach us that as long as the British presence remains in Ireland, there will always be those who oppose it by whatever means necessary.

“The war is not over - it will only be over when every last British soldier is driven from our shores.”

The report adds that the open threat comes after a British soldier, in his 20s and from Limerick, was advised not to travel home to his family for Christmas after police uncovered the Continuity IRA plan to kill him.

Officers believe a prior threat was made against the same soldier last August.

Police in riot gear on the streets of Belfast earlier this weekGoogle Images