Taoiseach says legacy of PIRA has 'poisoned society' in border region
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has said the “legacy of the Provisional IRA has poisoned society” around the border region following the damning Independent report on paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.
Speaking in the Dáil during Leader’s Questions, Mr Kenny said the report, which found the PIRA still exists and actively supports Sinn Féin, raised matters of “very serious concern”.
He said the reported raised concerns about command structures, access to weapons and widespread criminality within the republican movement.
“These things have no place and can have no place in our democracy,” Mr Kenny said.
“They never did and the future of the peace process depends on their being removed from the lives of this island once and for all,” he added.
He said claims that the IRA had gone away are “simply not credible”.
“There may have been a time when living with constructive ambiguity helped the peace process but that time has passed,” Mr Kenny said.
“The legacy of the IRA has poisoned society in many case around the border,” he later added.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach to establish a across border agency to tackle paramilitary crime.
Mr Kenny said he is open to the suggestion but wanted to see Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s report on PIRA activity in Ireland.
Mr Martin said the PIRA was exercising control in a “very brutal way” on both sides of the border and this is not acceptable.
He said the Government has “taken its eye of the ball” in terms of intelligence gathering along the border.
He said gardai patrolling the border are under resourced and “not up to speed”.
Mr Martin said there is a “very well established criminal network” in the border region and paramilitary groups were “ruling the roost”.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said Northern Ireland has “been on a journey from conflict to peace” and it is the responsibility of all political leaders to help complete that journey.
Mr Adams added that it is “clear not task for a hurler on the ditch like the leader of Fianna Fáil”.