December 5, 2023
Kelly welcomes report on tackling paramilitarism

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has welcomed the publication of the Independent Reporting Commission’s (IRC`s) sixth report on tackling paramilitarism.   

The party’s policing spokesperson said:

“Today’s report once again highlights the need for the continued joint approach of policing and justice to tackle paramilitarism and associated criminality. The report emphasises the need for this to be done through a coordinated and resourced strategy to help deal with deep and systemic socio-economic problems currently affecting working class communities. 

“The report again underlines the need for this approach to go hand in hand with a formal process of paramilitary group transition to ultimately bring about disbandment of all armed groups.

“Recognising the genuine concerns surrounding such a process of disbandment, which will require further discussion, the report proposes the appointment of an independent person by both the Irish and British government. This would be an intermediate step and would prepare the ground for a possible process of discussion.

“Sinn Féin believe this proposal merits serious consideration by both governments and the main parties, underpinned by agreed principles and safeguarding processes. 

“Also, we recognise the report’s focus on effective neighbourhood policing for this to work and the recommendation on supporting communities worst affected by the cost-of-living crisis. We also note the requirement to remove barriers for ex-prisoners and their families in relation to employment, international travel and access to financial services and adoption.

“25 years on from the Good Friday Agreement, with our political institutions not functioning as a result of one party’s reckless boycott, Sinn Féin pledge to maintain our support for the work of the IRC. And commit to further engagement with all key stakeholders in a joint effort to make further progress in tackling paramilitarism and associated serious organised crime.”

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