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Many ex-Provos still involved in crime in Republic: Garda

A significant number of ex-Provisional IRA members are involved in organised crime, security chiefs in the Republic said.

The review of known Provos, carried out simultaneously with the British assessment, said they were in it for personal gain, they work together and often use their reputations and old terror tactics.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said no political conclusions can be drawn from the security assessment on the IRA.

But she said it was fully consistent with the assessments provided previously and reports from the defunct Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC).

The Garda review found a substantial legacy from the group which must be addressed was the influence former Provos have on dissidents - 70 people were charged from November 1, 2010 with terror offences including IRA membership, firearms and explosives offences, 33 of whom were considered former Provos.

The Garda said members of the IRA's Army Council still associate but it has no intelligence of the terror group's top ranks meeting in the Republic.

"There is evidence that a type of 'residual leadership', committed to peaceful means, continues to exist and has become involved from time to time in dealing with 'legacy' issues," the review said.

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On former Provos involvement in crime, the review said: "They make full use of their 'legacy' reputations and in some cases their former terrorist tactics.

"No evidence has emerged in the course of the review which has been undertaken that that activity is directed by leadership of the organisation or that it is for other than personal gain."

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan said there is no evidence of any recruitment to Provo ranks in "recent years. It was never the position of the IMC - nor has it been the position of An Garda Siochana - that PIRA had disbanded and, accordingly, ceased to exist," she said.

"But the issues surrounding the continued existence of PIRA are inevitably complex.

"Obviously PIRA does not exist as the organisation it did, say, 20 years ago which was involved in what it regarded as 'armed conflict'."

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