Lunn says now is time to stop tiptoeing around paramilitaries

Alliance Justice spokesperson Trevor Lunn MLA has said it is now time to “stop tiptoeing around paramilitaries” during an Assembly motion on ending paramilitarism brought by the party.

The Alliance motion followed a series of recent incidents involving active paramilitary groups, as well as the UK Treasury withholding its half of the money for the implementation of the Executive’s action plan on paramilitarism after it expressed concerns about its lack of detail.

However, although today’s motion passed, a Sinn Fein amendment removing criticism of the Executive’s action plan was accepted, a move Mr Lunn said he was disappointed by.

“Alliance brought this motion to highlight the concerns caused by the delay in meaningful actions since the ceasefires 22 years ago and the Good Friday Agreement 18 years ago, particularly the lacklustre response of the Executive in its action plan to the three-person panel report.

“The inadequacies in the Executive action plan, which have been recognised by the British Government as such, need to be addressed. Therefore, it was disappointing to see Sinn Fein bring an amendment which removed rightful criticism of the Executive.

“It is time we stopped playing party politics and tiptoeing around paramilitaries. They do nothing but leech off their own communities through criminal activities, extortion, drug trafficking, protection rackets, human trafficking, prostitution and the list goes on. There is nothing to do with defence of communities. That notion is utterly disingenuous and needs to be called out for the smokescreen it is.”

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