Ulster Unionist Leader, Mike Nesbitt MLA, led a party delegation to meet PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton and senior officers at PSNI Headquarters today to discuss the murder of Kevin McGuigan.
Following the meeting, Mr Nesbitt said:
“The Chief Constable repeated the police assessment that members of the IRA took part in Wednesday’s murder and that the IRA still exists, although what form it takes in 2015 is not fully clear.
“What is clear is that Sinn Féin’s credibility on this issue is in tatters. They told us the IRA had disbanded; they denied the IRA murdered postal worker Frank Kerr in Newry in 1994; they denied IRA were involved in the Northern Bank Robbery; they told us the so-called Columbia Three were bird watchers or flower arrangers or some such nonsense. Now they continue to insult our intelligence by claiming no IRA involvement in this latest murder.
“The nature of the political implications remains open as the police investigation progresses, but Sinn Féin are endangering the political process by refusing to come clean about the IRA.
“They must also accept some responsibility for this killing, because once you cross the Ulster Unionist line of regarding all terrorism as unacceptable, you release a genie that is impossible to get back into the bottle.
"Some republicans who previously refused to condemn the IRA may think the circumstances no longer justify murder, but some colleagues clearly disagree.
“Our next step is to seek an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State when Theresa Villiers returns from holiday next week.”
Note to Editors:
The Ulster Unionist delegation was Leader Mike Nesbitt MLA, Danny Kennedy MLA and Ross Hussey MLA who is also a member of the Policing Board