Belfast Telegraph

Last report for ceasefires watchdog

A watchdog set up to monitor paramilitary ceasefires in Northern Ireland has presented its final report to the authorities.

The Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), which was set up seven years ago by the British and Irish governments, will officially wind up at the end of the month.

Its last report to the London and Dublin administrations is an overview of its work and an assessment on any lessons that can be learned. It will be published after the governments examine the findings.

An IMC spokesman said on Monday: "The 26th and final report of the Independent Monitoring Commission has been presented today to the British and Irish Governments.

"The report documents changes, impact and lessons during the period from January 2004 - March 2011."

A NIO spokesman said: "We welcome this report and we will issue a statement of response once we have fully considered the detailed conclusions."

The four members of the Commission are former Assembly speaker Lord (John) Alderdice, veteran Irish civil servant Joe Brosnan, retired Met assistant commissioner John Grieve and ex-CIA deputy director Dick Kerr. The decision to axe the body late last year came despite the ongoing threat from dissident republicans.

At the time, Lord Alderdice said the bedding down of the peace process and the devolution of policing and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont had paved the way for the demise of the commission.

Mr Kerr went on to detail the huge workload the men had taken on. The American, still active on the international stage in his mid-70s, said they had held more than 100 formal meetings as part of their activities.

"I have spent, in attending these meetings, a total of 2,400 hours on aeroplanes. That doesn't count going through security and waiting in airports," he said. "So just getting here and getting back has been for me a major challenge."


From Belfast Telegraph