Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has responded to the reports that Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kincaid has informed the Policing Board of continued IRA involvement in criminal activity, seemingly at odds with the view of government ministers, by stressing the need for the IMC being allowed to do its job.
Stephen Farry stated: “If the IRA are still involved in organised crime, this poses a threat to progress because it raises questions to their commitment to a society based upon democracy, human rights and respect for the rule of law. There can be no equivocation on these points.
“The views of the police seem to be at odds with those of government ministers. The temptation is always there for Governments to downplay paramilitary activity in order to gain some short-term progress. If there is to be meaningful progress involving Republicans, then people want to know that they are for real. People have had enough of stop-start politics.
“Alliance proposed the creation of the IMC four years ago in order to provide objective and impartial reporting on paramilitary activity.
“These latest comments linked to the police further emphasis the need for the IMC to be allowed to do the job of which it has been asked.
“In its October Report, it fell short of declaring an end to all paramilitary activity. Since then, both Governments have rather unhelpfully tried to second guess what the IMC will say by assuming that there will be ‘a clean bill of health’.
“However, once a clear picture of a change in IRA behaviour emerges through a transparent and objective process, it will then be much more possible to put much greater pressure on the DUP for political progress. Fuzziness and expediency do not help.”