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Statement by Ian Paisley, on the Publication of the Eighth Report of the IMC, (1 February 2006)

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Text: Ian Paisley... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn [3 Feb 2006]

Statement by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on the Publication of the Eighth Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), (1 February 2006)


"Far from being a clean bill of health, the Independent Monitoring Commissionís report reaffirms what we already know - that the Provisional IRA is riddled with illegality. Sinn Fein words have not been backed up by Provo inaction.

In terms of rioting, intelligence gathering, assaults, exiling and large scale crime, Sinn Fein/IRA has not turned its back on violence and criminality but is instead as involved in illegality as it has ever been.

This report dispels the nonsense suggested by Government that ongoing IRA terror and criminality are the deeds of individuals acting without the say so of the Sinn Fein/IRA leadership. In relation to intelligence gathering, the IMC has stated clearly and unequivocally that this activity is "authorised by the leadership" and "involves some very senior members". Serious organised crime, according to the IMC, involves "members and former members of the PIRA" and "senior members are involved in money laundering and other crime". This illegality isnít being indulged in by one or two people on the fringes. It goes right to the very top.

It is particularly perturbing that the IRA continues its intelligence gathering operation and is apparently predominantly directing its spying at furthering its political strategy. So much for their supposed commitment to democratic means and democratic means alone. The continuing targeting of "public and other institutions" surely sends a message to the Government that the reinstating of Sinn Fein allowances is both premature and pure folly.

The report demonstrates just how ingrained criminality is in the IRAís DNA. They are seemingly still up to their necks in counterfeiting, tobacco and fuel smuggling and money laundering. Todayís raid in Dublin only serve to underscore how steeped in serious crime Sinn Fein/IRA are.

It is also of grave concern that the IMC report that "not all PIRAís weapons and ammunition were handed over for decommissioning". I have consistently said that the IRAís acts of decommissioning were nothing but a charade and this report vindicates that view.

Not only does the IMCís report prove that Sinn Fein/IRA have not left crime and terror behind them and are nowhere near completing the transition from illegality to exclusively peaceful and democratic means, but it also proves that the DUP are right to rule out executive devolution involving Sinn Fein and urge instead phased approach. There can be no shadow of a doubt whatsoever that Sinn Fein are not fit for government. Our proposals accept this reality and that reality must now dawn upon our Government and all democratic parties as well. Waiting for Sinn Fein/IRA to give up violence and crime for good is going to take a very long time. The Governmentís rush to judgement was wrong. The DUP will not be rushed into making the same mistake."


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