Belfast Telegraph

IRA Army Council retains oversight of Sinn Fein, say police

The IRA Army Council retains oversight of Sinn Fein, according to the PSNI
The IRA Army Council retains oversight of Sinn Fein, according to the PSNI

By Staff Reporter

The IRA Army Council retains oversight of Sinn Fein, according to the PSNI.

Police issued the clarification following concern that the latest report from the paramilitary monitoring body the Independent Review Commission (IRC) was silent about the continuing influence of republican terror groups, including the Provisional IRA and the INLA.

The PSNI said yesterday there had been no changes to their 2015 assessment of the relationship between the IRA and Sinn Fein.

In a statement the PSNI told the News Letter: "The IRC report is published by the Independent Review Commission and the PSNI does not determine the contents of the report.

"With regards to PIRA (Provisional IRA), there has been no change since the Paramilitary Assessment in 2015."

Ulster Unionist justice spokesman Doug Beattie said the IRC's credibility was now in question.

"The failure to mention the activities of either the IRA or INLA in the Independent Reporting Commission's Second Report earlier this week was and is a major blunder, which could undermine confidence in the Commission itself," he said.

An IRC spokesperson said: "The IRC has no role in making assessments around security, and indeed has no expertise to make such assessments.

"Paramilitary assessment is a matter for the security authorities."

Sinn Fein MP Mickey Brady rejected the PSNI assessment.

"The IRA is gone and not coming back," he said.

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