Sinn Fein News, September 6, 2006

IMC Report - IRA have delivered on commitments

The so-called IMC (Independent Monitoring Commission) today released its eleventh report. The report can be downloaded as a PDF at www.nio.gov.uk/eleventh_report_of_the_independent_monitoring_commission.pdf. Most of the report related to British demilitarisation and withdraw. The report also commented on the IRA saying:

"It is not engaged in terrorist activity, by which we mean undertaking attacks, planning or reconnoitring them, or developing a terrorist capability by, for example, procuring weapons or training members.

"The leadership is opposed to the use of violence in community control, has taken a stance against criminality and disorder amongst the membership, and has been engaged in successful dialogue to prevent violence during the 2006 parades season," it said.

Senior members of the IRA were taking on roles in Sinn Féin and encouraging other members to do the same or to engage in community work, it added.

The report added: "The fact that PIRA retains a command and control structure does not in our view detract from this.

"Indeed, this structure is an important element in maintaining the organisation on its chosen path."

Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew today said that it was patently clear that the IRA had delivered to the word on every commitment it entered into last year and that the time for DUP to engage has long since past.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Well before any pronouncement from the IMC this afternoon it has been patently clear to everyone objectively looking at this situation that the IRA had delivered to the word on every commitment it entered into this time last year.

"The IRA have dealt decisively with genuine issues of concern put forward by unionists and it is very clear that the time for the DUP using this issue as an excuse not to engage and move forward has long since past.

"The DUP stand alone as the only party still unwilling to commit to sharing power on the basis laid out in the Good Friday Agreement."

In relation to the reports comments on British demilitarisation and withdraw, Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy MP said:

The people who will judge the pace and extent of the dismantling of the British war machine in Ireland are those people in areas like South Armagh who have had to live for years with the effects of the British occupation in their community. People who have lived with the effects of British military occupation do not need reports from John Alderdice to tell them when sufficient progress has been made.

"Progress is being made on the issue of demilitarisation because Sinn Féin put it onto the political agenda and because local communities mounted effective campaigns to demand an end to the British military presence in their lives. This has nothing whatever to do with the IMC.

"Sinn Féin will continue to raise this issue with the British government to ensure that all of their commitments are met and equally importantly that all occupied land is returned to its rightful owners and we do not see a repeat of the underhand attempt to reoccupy land recently mounted by the PSNI and Policing Board in Crossmaglen."