Ulster Unionist Party Justice Spokesperson, Doug Beattie MC MLA has called on the Independent Reporting Commission to explain why its report issued earlier this week made no reference to the activities of either the IRA or INLA, and said that the failure to do so could badly undermine the Commission’s credibility.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“The failure to mention the activities of either the IRA or INLA in the Independent Reporting Commission’s Second Report earlier this week, was and is a major blunder, which could undermine confidence in the Commission itself.
“The continued existence of the IRA is a question which cannot be ignored, given that in August 2015 the then Chief Constable George Hamilton said that the IRA still existed and that some of its members were involved in the murder of ex-IRA man Kevin McGuigan. He also said that ‘Some current Provisional IRA and former members continue to engage in a range of criminal activity and occasional violence in the interest of personal gain or personal agendas.’
“In recent months we have witnessed firing parties at the funerals of several dead IRA terrorists. Clearly this organisation still exists and has access to modern well-maintained weaponry, making a mockery of the claims that IRA decommissioning was ‘completed.’
"Furthermore, given the level of so-called punishment attacks and other criminal activity carried out by the INLA and the number of police operations against that particular terror gang, it in simply incomprehensible that they were not the subject of comment in the report. We also have to remember that the INLA was implicated in the murder of Jim Donegan in March this year.
“The Commission needs to address these points as a matter of urgency and I will be writing to the Commission to seek a meeting to discuss why they chose to omit these dangerous, drug dealing paramilitary groups.”