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Extracts from Statement by Shaun Woodward, Belfast, (3 September 2008)

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Text: Shaun Woodward ... Page compiled: Martin Melaugh

Press Release Containing Extracts from Statement by Shaun Woodward, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in response to the Nineteenth IMC Report, Belfast, (3 September 2008)


Army Council is redundant - Woodward

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Following the publication of today’s report by the Independent Monitoring Commission, Secretary of State Shaun Woodward said:

"This ground breaking report by the IMC makes clear that the Army Council is now redundant.

“As the Report states, "The Army Council is no longer operational or functional." By "conscious decisions" the "standing down of the structures which engaged in the armed campaign... have allowed the Army Council to fall into disuse."

“Crucially the IMC concludes that "PIRA has completely relinquished the leadership and other structures appropriate to a time of armed conflict."

“In their Report the IMC state there are three key issues to consider.”

“First that PIRA is both set on and will remain on a political path. Second, that as an organization PIRA is "being allowed to wither away". And third, whether PIRA "might re-emerge as a terrrorist organization... our firmly in the negative."

The Secretary of State added:  "In the last few years we have seen huge progress in the political process. Today's Report is a major event in this process. PIRA should now not just be judged by what it said it would do, but today by what the IMC tells us it has done.”

"I urge people to read the Report very carefully. As the IMC made clear "what matters is that the armed conflict is completely over and the leadership structures have definitely ceased to function in the way they did during the time of conflict."

“Today's Report confirms this has happened.”

“PIRA has met its commitment. It has abandoned all its terrorist structures, its recruitment and PIRA's so-called "military" departments have ceased to function and have been disbanded.”


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