Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Will coalition honour armaments pledge?

Brian Rowan (News, June 24) raises the subject of the report on the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons and munitions.

The new Conservative/Liberal coalition Government has so far made no statement to honour the previous Labour Government's commitment "to publish the full report when the IICD's mandate is complete" (then NIO Security Minister Paul Goggins).

It took 11 years for the decommissioning process to reach a conclusion.

Will it take an additional 11 years for the British Government to finally publish the IICD report?

As the decommissioning of illegal armaments is a major element of the peace process, it is, therefore, of considerable pubic interest and, as such, information cannot be obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Surely the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, must make a statement as to when publication is likely to come out.

Mr Rowan concludes: "This is their counting of weapons and bullets, the weighing of explosives and the figures that tell us what it all adds up to; what has been decommissioned - and what hasn't." Indeed!

Unfortunately, there will be no photographic proof added to the report.

M W WOODS

Bangor, Co Down

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