Leading Republican Dominic Og McGlinchey has demanded dissidents open discussions on a permanent ceasefire.
McGlinchey, whose parents Dominic and Mary were INLA leaders, has told the Irish Times that the time is right to start the conversation.
A witness to the murders of both his parents, he told the paper that dissident republicans should ‘start a conversation about the removal of the gun from Irish politics.’
McGlinchey said: “Republicanism is a very honorable thing if done in an honorable way. We shouldn’t be dishonoring it by the mindless use of violence.
“I haven’t said to anybody pack up and go home . . . what I am saying is that we should not be bound by the weapons. Just because they are there does not mean that they have to be used.
“I don’t see mass appetite at a street level for the armed campaign.”
A former Sinn Fein member who quit the party when it backed policing in Northern Ireland, McGlinchey has deplored the Good Friday murder of former Continuity IRA commander Tommy Crossan in Belfast.
He said, “The killing had little to do with the armed struggle.”
Named in court as the getaway driver in the 2009 dissident attack on Massereene British army base in Antrim in which British soldiers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey were murdered, McGlinchey has denied any involvement.
He also told the paper that his father, shot dead six months before the groundbreaking IRA ceasefire of 1994, was killed ‘to facilitate the peace process.’
He claimed those responsible were one of three groups: the IRA, British military intelligence or people acting for the Irish government.