Sinn Féin MLA and Justice spokesperson Sinead Ennis has welcomed the publication of the Independent Reporting Commission’s report on tackling paramilitarism.
Sinead Ennis said:
“Today’s report again highlights the need to continue to pursue the twin track approach of policing and justice responses to paramilitarism, while addressing the deep and systemic socio-economic issues afflicting working-class communities.
“Paramilitary groups seek to exert coercive control over such communities, through intimidation and the operation of their criminal enterprises.
“In their recommendations, they again call for the introduction of organised crime legislation with a view to disrupting organised crime operations and gangs, some of whom masquerade as paramilitaries.
“They also further stress the need for a comprehensive process for paramilitary group transition. In pursuit of this objective, they reference the international concept of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration.
“This again highlights the outstanding need for all barriers to equal citizenship for the ex-prisoner community and their families to be finally removed.
“Such barriers include issues around international travel, the acquisition of insurance, adoption rights and curbs on employment opportunities.
“As we approach the 25th anniversary of the GFA, we view the scourge of paramilitarism as a key aspect of the yet unfinished business of the Agreement.
“Accordingly, we pledge to continue our support for, and engagement with the Independent Reporting Commission, key stakeholders and other parties in a joint resolve to make further progress in tackling paramilitarism and associated serious organised crime.”