Loyalist murder reinforces need for robust paramilitary strategy, says Farry

Alliance Policing spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has said the murder of John Boreland reinforces the need for a robust and coherent anti-paramilitarism strategy from Government.

Speaking in the aftermath of the killing in North Belfast, Dr Farry said it was a reminder of the grip paramilitaries have over many communities across Northern Ireland, which impacts on the social and economic prospects of people there.

“Alliance has been to the forefront in calling for a paramilitary strategy, making it a centre-piece of our approach to negotiations which led to the so-called ‘Fresh Start’ deal,” he said.

“While we welcomed the report of three-person panel on paramilitarism, the subsequent response from the Executive has been weak. What was termed an action plan is vague in many respects, and lacks sufficient timescales and targets. It falls well short of being a strategy with a clear-cut analysis of the underlying problem and sense of shared ownership of a desire to root out paramilitarism and organised crime.

“In particular, there needs to be much more urgency given to putting in place a protocol on the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of how public agencies such as the PSNI and Housing Executive interact with paramilitary structures that does not inadvertently reinforce them but actually breaks them down.

“In the wake of this murder, I would encourage the Executive to re-examine what they have produced to date.”

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