Friday 15 November 2019

Ireland needs to reflect 'on why we still have cancer of paramilitarism on this island' - Tanaiste

Justice Minister to publish report on threat posed by the IRA this evening

Tánaiste Joan Burton
Tánaiste Joan Burton

Niall O'Connor

JUSTICE Minister Frances Fitzgerald will today publish the assessment by An Garda Síochána into the threat posed by the IRA.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was ordered to carry out the report last month following comments by the PSNI’s Chief Constable George Hamilton that the IRA was involved in the brutal murder of Kevin McGuigan.

The findings of the independent report commissioned by the North’s Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has sent shockwaves through political circles today.

Tánaiste Joan Burton described the findings as “profoundly shocking” and said it gives all citizens in the Republic “pause for thought”.

She said the country needs to reflect now “on why it is that we still have the cancer of paramilitarism on this island”.

Ms Burton added: “The rackets have to end, the money making has to end, and we want to have a normal democratic society in Ireland. That’s what people voted for, they voted for the Good Friday Agreement, an end to all of this.”

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald

The Tánaiste made the remarks at a Labour Party event in Dublin.

Both she and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin said the report raises serious questions for Sinn Féin and the party’s President Gerry Adams.

Ms Burton highlighted the commissioning of billboards in Dublin by Sinn Féin which sport the slogan ‘Better Off with Sinn Féin’.

“Can I say to Sinn Féin, that we would be better off in Ireland, if the paramilitaries associated with Sinn Fein and with the Provisional IRA was brought to an end. That would really be better off for the Irish people,” she said.

Mr Howlin said it is essential that a mechanism is found whereby these “legacy issues” can be fully addressed.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section