Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland

Paramilitary activity

The Secretary of State has just published a report on Paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.

Should the findings be a surprise to anyone?

The assessment confirms that all the main paramilitary groups operating during the Troubles are still in existence including the Ulster Volunteer Force, Red Hand Commando, Ulster Defence Association, the Provisional IRA and Irish National Liberation Army.

On structures the assessment says that “the majority of paramilitary organisations in this report still have leadership structures” and “organise themselves along militaristic lines.”

On role of these groups, the assessment concludes that “none of these groups is planning or conducting terrorist attacks.”

The report also states that “members of these paramilitary groups continue to engage in violent activity, both directed by local leadership and conducted without sanction”.

Where does this report leave Northern Ireland politically and what will be the response of the ‘big parties’ – especially those who walked away from the Executive and those who played hokey pokey politics?

You can download the full report by clicking here

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