A new political party has been established by dissident republicans in both parts of Ireland.

They had their first ard fheis, or annual convention, in Newry, Co. Down, on Saturday attended by 150 delegates.

The new party, named Saoradh -- Irish for liberation -- is opposed to the power-sharing government in Northern Ireland and will stage demonstrations in support of republican prisoners.

According to Saoradh’s constitution, it might, at some point, contest elections but on an abstentionist basis, meaning it will not accept seats if successful in Westminster or the Dail.

First chairman David Jordan, at the Newry convention, was highly critical of Sinn Fein.

In a clear reference to the party, he referred to “false prophets... defeated and consumed by the very system they claim to oppose.”

Saoradh has the support of prisoners from the dissident group referred to as the New IRA in Maghaberry and Portlaoise prisons.

There is no suggestion that the formation of the party is a signal that dissident republican organizations are considering an end to violence.  Jordan made it clear in his speech that dissidents do not intend following Sinn Fein's journey into constitutional politics.

“Our history is littered with the failures of successive ventures into constitutional nationalism, as they were subsumed into the very systems they set out to overthrow,” he said.

Delegates at the convention said they had formed a revolutionary party to represent the working class and further the cause for an Irish socialist republic.