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February 01, 2006

8th Report of IMC

(Poster’s Note: Graphs & tables are excluded from this text. See
above PDF file. Jay)


Presented to the Government of the United Kingdom and the
Government of Ireland under Articles 4 and 7 of the
International Agreement establishing the Independent
Monitoring Commission

Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 1st February
2006 HC 870 LONDON: The Stationery Office £XX.xx


1. Introduction

2. Some Current Issues

3. Paramilitary Groups: Assessment of Current Activities

4. Paramilitary Groups: The Incidence of Violence and

5. Leadership

6. Conclusions and Recommendations


I Articles 4 and 7 of the International Agreement

II The IMC’s Guiding Principles

III Paragraphs from the IMC’s Fifth Report (May 2005)
setting out its views on the responsibilities of political

IV Summary of Measures provided for in UK Legislation which
the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) may recommend
for action by the Northern Ireland Assembly 42



1.1 We present this report on the continuing activities of
paramilitary groups under Articles 4 and 7 of the
International Agreement establishing the Independent
Monitoring Commission1. Our reports under these provisions
are normally at six monthly intervals, and our last was in
October 20052. The British and Irish Governments have asked
us to produce a report at this time. We expect to deliver
our next in April 2006, so that this report comes at the
halfway point in our normal cycle.

1.2 We recognise that the two Governments have requested
this additional report so that we can give a further
assessment of the activities of PIRA, whose very
significant statement was issued on 28 July 2005, six
months ago. This report is not however confined to PIRA but
examines the activities of all paramilitary groups. The
PIRA statement was followed by the decommissioning of arms
reported by the Independent International Commission on
Decommissioning (IICD) on 26 September. We gave our first
assessment of the results of the statement in our report
last October.

1.3 We repeat here, as we have with all such reports, two
points which we believe are central to our work:

:: First, we continue to be guided by the objective of the
Commission set out in Article 3 of the International

:: Second, we continue to follow the principles about the
rule of law and about democratic government which we
published in March 2004, and which we set out in Annex II.

The objective of the Commission is to carry out [its
functions] with a view to promoting the transition to a
peaceful society and stable and inclusive devolved
Government in Northern Ireland.

1 The text of Articles 4 and 7 is set out in Annex I.

2 IMC Seventh Report, published October 2005.


2.1 We recognise that some readers of this report may focus
particularly on PIRA, although we have significant things
to say about all of the paramilitary groups.

Because of the PIRA statement of 28 July 2005 and the
subsequent act of decommissioning reported by the IICD on
26 September, and because of some tentative signs of change
on the loyalist side, we return to one of our continuing
themes. This is the hoped-for transition from a situation
where paramilitaries commit terrorist and other crime, and
dominate communities through intimidation, to one where
politics and criminal justice operate according to the
normal standards and practices of a democracy, and where as
a consequence democratic politics moves centre stage and
paramilitarism is moved to the margins in these
communities. In such a transition the situation to avoid is
one where terrorism is left behind but a culture of
unlawful authority remains.

Culture of Lawfulness

2.2 We have referred before to a “culture of lawfulness”
within which law enforcement operates normally and with
broad public support, and where there is recognition of the
need to observe human rights as well as mechanisms for
ensuring that this happens3. We have recognised that in
some local Northern Ireland communities this culture has
been missing for a long time, with the result that
paramilitaries have been able to exercise significant
control in the absence of effective support on the part of
some sections of the public for the organs of criminal
justice. Readjustment to normal community policing may
present a problem for many in these communities.

We argued that this situation presents both a challenge,
because the establishment of a culture of lawfulness will
be difficult, and an opportunity, because its growth will
play an important role in weakening the hold of
paramilitary organisations and in being creative in
developing more community ownership of the organs of

Such a culture is not of course one sided: the criminal
justice system must have palpable integrity.

3 IMC Seventh Report, Section 1, published October 2005.


2.3 Examples elsewhere in the world show all too clearly
that the process of coming out of paramilitary violence and
crime will never be easy and that it will almost certainly
be confused and messy. This is the case in Northern Ireland
too, and by no means only in relation to PIRA. Indeed,
following the PIRA statement last summer and the
developments since then to which we referred in our last
report and describe further below, it is all too clear that
some other paramilitary groups have to date made much less
progress along the road. We recognise, for example, that
groups will need to go through a process of consultation
and debate as they change their role, and that lasting
change is unlikely unless this process is successfully
completed. The role and influence of the leadership is key
to this. Changes taking place within communities, in some
cases involving a greater readiness to co-operate with the
police, also create a different environment and can bring
influence to bear on paramilitarism. Out of this may well
emerge more people with paramilitary backgrounds committed
to helping their communities to develop in a peaceful and
entirely lawful and democratic way. They will join others –
including ex-prisoners – who have already trodden this path
and who already make valuable contributions.

2.4 We believe that changes are taking place amongst
paramilitary groups on both the loyalist and republican
sides – indeed that there is a dynamic of change which is
likely to encompass associated political parties and other
political groupings, although it is patchy in its
occurrence and impact. We refer to particular examples in
Section 3 of this report although it is sometimes hard to
be precise about what is happening. We believe that there
is no intention on the part of a number of those groups, in
particular PIRA, to revert to terrorism but there still
remain questions about how far this dynamic will develop.
There seems to be a growing awareness within groups on both
sides that violence and crime – even if they had been
considered an acceptable option in the past – do not now
offer a way forward which is either right or likely to bear
political fruit in the longer term. There are signs too in
both loyalist and republican communities that increasing
numbers of people want to break free of the grip of
paramilitary groups. As they do so they can restore a more
normal way of life. Instead of turning to paramilitaries to
solve local issues they can turn to an accountable and much
changed criminal justice system, just as they do to other
public services. The more they do this, the less
paramilitary groups will be able to exercise the community
control to which they have for long been accustomed.

2.5 In pursuit of Article 3 of the International Agreement4
we support this dynamic. Our core remit – to monitor and
report on continuing paramilitary activity – is at the
heart of it. Indeed, people close to or associated with
paramilitaries as well as from the general public have told
us that exposure of the facts is a valuable means of
helping secure change and can assist those within
paramilitary groups who are working for it. Beyond that, we
want to support this dynamic through the recommendations we
make and the conclusions we draw from our analysis.

2.6 The fact that these changes are likely to be
complicated and to take time does not however detract from
some key principles, which we have enunciated from the
start of our work and which apply to all paramilitary
groups. There can be no compromise over the need to adhere
to the rule of law. The half way houses which may mark the
process of abandoning paramilitary criminality must not be
other than transitory.

The abandonment has to be total. As we have made clear
before, it must embrace not only terrorism but also
organised and all other forms of crime. This includes, for
example, offences involving the sale of illicit or smuggled
goods, or the laundering of illegal funds, through local
retail outlets. It includes all forms of extortion and
intimidation, as it does exiling; on this last, as we have
repeatedly said, we will monitor whether paramilitary
groups have generally and credibly allowed those they had
exiled to return home freely, should they wish to do so.

2.7 We recognise, as we always have, that in monitoring
paramilitary activity it is essential for us to distinguish
as clearly as we can between what has been done with the
sanction of the leadership (and if activities have been
sanctioned, at what level), and what may have been done by
Individuals (whether current or former members) acting on
their own initiative or for their own benefit 5.

4 See paragraph 1.3 above.

5 We explored the issues associated with the attribution of
paramilitary activities in depth in our previous report –
see IMC Seventh Report, paragraphs 2.6-2.9 and Annex VIII.

Community Restorative Justice

2.8 It is against this background that we think it right to
return to the issue of community restorative justice6. We
have made clear our support in principle for schemes which
operate accountably and to acceptable standards7. We have
said this because we think that in some communities, where
the culture of lawfulness is not well embedded, such
schemes can offer people an acceptable alternative to
turning to paramilitaries. Over time schemes can help
integrate official law enforcement and justice procedures
into communities which have for too long been estranged
from them, and can do so in a manner which reflects the
circumstances and traditions of those communities.

2.9 We know that properly structured community restorative
justice schemes have addressed the cases of hundreds of
persistent repeat young offenders and that many of these
people have as a result been saved from threats, exiling or
violence at the hands of paramilitaries. The schemes have
also offered routes for the peaceful resolution of other
local disputes, often of a minor but nevertheless very
aggravating kind. And where they co-operate with official
agencies the schemes can help foster local-level relations
with the police even when political and community leaders
are not yet prepared to give their general support to co-
operation with the police. In all these sorts of ways the
schemes can help loosen the control that paramilitaries
have had in those communities – something which is at the
heart of our remit and which we believe is essential if
paramilitary control and criminality are to be removed from
any role in the life of Northern Ireland.

2.10 Our emphasis on accountability and standards is
central to this view. Community restorative justice must
never be a cover for the paramilitary groups, whereby they
are able to continue to exercise an unhealthy influence
under a more respectable label. The schemes must be open as
well as accountable, including by having procedures for
individual complaints, arrangements to ensure that only

6 Our earlier comments are in: IMC Third Report, paragraphs
6.2-6.5, published November 2004; and IMC Fifth Report,
paragraphs 7.2-7.7, published May 2005.

7 By this we mean that the schemes fully respect human
rights, that is to say that they act in a way which is
proportionate, legal and accountable, and where the
interventions are both necessary and are based on the best

people are employed, oversight and external inspection and
an unambiguous relationship with the criminal justice
system as a whole. As they develop the schemes must be
increasingly associated with the agencies of the official
criminal justice system, including the police. There can
never be any question of alternative or parallel justice
systems. To allow that would run the risk of legitimising
the paramilitaries under a new guise, and so prolong
exactly the thing the schemes are capable of helping to

2.11 Since we commented on community restorative justice in
November 2004 and May 2005 we have heard from a number of
people about their concerns over some developments. Views
have reached us from organisations and from individuals,
the latter speaking with first hand personal experience
within the very communities where the paramilitaries have
been most active and have had the tightest grip.

2.12 These accounts have had two main features. First, that
there have been some instances of people known for their
involvement in community restorative justice schemes, and
sometimes apparently speaking in the name of such schemes,
who have tried to exert improper pressure on individuals,
whether victims, alleged offenders, or members of their
families. Those who have exerted this pressure are
sometimes also known for their paramilitary connections. As
reported to us, this pressure is seen by those on whom it
is exerted as intended to secure the disposal of the crime
without recourse to the criminal justice system, including
police, for example by requiring the alleged offender to
move to another location or to refrain from visiting
certain places in future. While the allegations put to us
may not always have involved actual violence against
victims or alleged offenders they have sometimes referred
to what has been described as an “undercurrent of threat” –
and threat has been sufficient. The second feature of the
accounts has been the type and seriousness of some of the
offences, which fall well outside the scope of ordinary
restorative justice schemes. As a matter of general
principle, for example, violent offences against the person
and sexual offences are not appropriate for restorative

2.13 In short, we have been told of a number of instances
of restorative justice being invoked as a means of
continuing to exert paramilitary control within
communities, and of what seems to at least some people
living and working in those communities as paramilitarism
operating under the guise of restorative justice.

2.14 To the extent that this does happen, it raises issues
which are important for several reasons. Individuals may be
subjected to threats or to improper pressure and so
deprived of their human rights and access to justice; and
some who are entirely innocent may be unfairly pilloried
and have no recourse to that justice. Serious crimes which
can be effectively dealt with only by the criminal justice
system may not be properly pursued and offenders may escape
justice. The reputation of community restorative justice
may be damaged. As a consequence communities will suffer
because this reduces its ability to serve a useful role in
helping wean people away from paramilitary influence, and
individuals will suffer because some offenders and victims
will be denied the means of dealing with minor crime that
they might otherwise have had. It may also inhibit the
development of normal policing.

Paramilitaries may be emboldened to continue to exercise
control within communities under a new cloak of
respectability and according to their own definitions of
what is acceptable. In so doing they will operate a form of
alternative “justice” system which serves their purposes
and will keep at a distance the agencies of criminal
justice to which all are entitled to have recourse.

2.15 We fully understand that it is right to draw a
distinction between what is properly and officially done as
part of a restorative justice scheme and the role of people
who purport to speak and act in its name as a means, in
some instances at least, of furthering their own interests.
The present community schemes which are subject to external
monitoring are not large, and are not meant to embrace
serious offences of the kind described in some of these
accounts. We know that if they are to receive public funds
they will be subject to safeguards and inspection, as are
other parts of the criminal justice system. The draft
guidelines published in December 2005 and currently under
consultation provide for safeguards, and we understand that
these schemes want to implement such arrangements.

2.16 We also recognise, as we have before, the valuable
role that is performed in these schemes by some ex-
paramilitaries. We do not therefore want to exaggerate the
issue or to tarnish the reputation of properly managed
restorative justice schemes with instances of where people
have acted entirely improperly. We recognise that in some
cases it is possible that some members of the public may
not have been aware of restorative justice volunteers who
have given up their paramilitary past, or may not have
distinguished between legitimate restorative justice and
other local, unlawful vigilantes. We nevertheless believe
there are some people – who may or may not be personally
associated with community restorative justice – who in some
instances use it as a cover for the exercise of
paramilitary influence or who allow people to think they
are doing so. This is exactly what we had previously said
must not be allowed to happen.

2.17 We have been unable to date to determine how
widespread this phenomenon really is, though we do not
doubt it is happening and we believe that it delays the
firm establishment of a “culture of lawfulness”. The more
benign interpretation is that it is part of the difficult
process of transition from a world where violence and
threats were the norm and the writ of the agencies of the
criminal law did not effectively run, and that it is
therefore a passing phase. The more sinister and worrying
interpretation is that it represents a deliberate tactic on
behalf of paramilitaries to find new means of exerting
their control now that violence or other crude threats are
less open to them; and that by this means they can prolong
a situation where people turn to them rather than to the
forces of the law. To the extent that there is evidence
that activities of this kind are promoted by paramilitary
groups as such they fall within our terms of reference and
we will continue to monitor them. We know that allegations
of this kind have also been made to others. We urge people
to bring to attention not only concerns and allegations of
difficulties but also instances of good practice.



3.1 We offer below a further assessment of the current
activities and state of preparedness of paramilitary
groups. We focus mainly on the period from 1 September to
30 November 2005, although we do of course take account of
events before and since that period. We also refer back to
our Seventh Report, published in October 2005. Our account
of the origins and structures of the groups was in our
First Report 8.

Dissident Republicans Generally

3.2 As in our previous report, we find that dissident
republicans have undertaken a number of activities which we
cannot at present attribute to a particular group. It is
important nonetheless that these activities are exposed,
and we will offer more precise attributions in future
reports if we are able to do so. We also observe in this
context that one feature of dissident republican groups is
a tendency for things sometimes to be personality-driven or
dependent on family or local allegiances, rather than on
ideology. In the case of CIRA and RIRA, this can lead to
co-operation between the two groups at a local level.
Dissident groups also have different areas of geographical
influence, which may lead to one seeking the assistance of
another in an area where it is unrepresented.

3.3 Dissident republicans were responsible for 2 hoax
devices in early October and one at the end of November,
all directed at the police or military. It may be that in
some cases these, or other hoaxes which we are able to
attribute to one group and refer to below, have been used
so as to observe how the security forces react, and so
perhaps to facilitate future attacks on them. We believe
that dissidents continue to acquire intelligence which
might serve their purposes, and that they continue to plan
for future attacks, for example by identifying targets.

8 IMC First Report, Section 3, published April 2004.

3.4 Dissident republicans were also responsible for other
devices directed at civilian targets: one viable bomb at
the end of November at Belfast City Hall and two hoaxes at
the same time at the home of a senior member of the SDLP.
Dissidents generally continue to use violence as a means of
settling internal disputes and imposing discipline, and in
an effort to exert control within local communities.

3.5 On this occasion, for the first time, we report 2
further dissident groupings. One – styling itself as
Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH) – has splintered from CIRA and
the other – describing itself as Saoirse na hÉireann (SNH)
– is composed of disaffected, and largely young,
republicans, mainly from the Belfast area. ONH was, we
believe, responsible for one assault and has been seeking
to recruit former members of RIRA. It also undertook an
armed Post Office robbery. SNH claimed responsibility for 2
hoax devices in September. It remains to be seen how and to
what extent these new groupings develop; previous
experience with splinter dissident groupings indicates that
they might not necessarily be long-lasting. We will include
any further relevant information in future reports.

Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)

3.6 In our Seventh Report we described CIRA as a dangerous
organisation which was active and intended to remain so. It
had sought to procure and improve weapons;

some members had received training; and it had mounted hoax
and real attacks. We believed it was capable of continuing
attacks although it had not recently shown itself capable
of a sustained campaign.

3.7 CIRA has continued to be active over the 3 months under
review. It was responsible for a hoax device placed under
the vehicle of an officer in the RIR in October. It
considers members of the police and military as priority
targets and it remains its aspiration to undertake attacks
on them. We believe that CIRA planned a campaign of viable
and hoax bombs against private and commercial as well as
military targets.

We think it probable that the organisation was responsible
for planting 4 explosive devices in the period under
review, one against an Orange Hall, and for hoaxes at
commercial premises and the Down Royal Race Course. It
instructed some members of ONH, the new grouping which has
splintered from CIRA, to leave Northern Ireland.

3.8 The organisation continues to seek to develop its
capacity. Members of some units have received training and
it continues its efforts to recruit members. The
organisation continues to experiment with and to develop
equipment and it is has attempted to acquire munitions. We
conclude that CIRA remains a threat; that it will continue
to mount real and hoax attacks; and that it will continue
to plan violence and to seek to enhance its capacity.

Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)

3.9 In our Seventh Report we said that INLA had recruited
and trained new members;

had been responsible for shooting and bombing attacks; and
continued to be engaged in organised crime. We concluded
that there had been some increase in the organisation’s use
of violence and that there remained the threat of its more
active involvement, although at that time the level of
activity was not high.

3.10 The picture remains broadly the same. INLA has
continued a low but potentially serious level of activity.
It deployed weapons for defensive purposes in September
following the Whiterock riots. It continues attempts to
recruit members, undertook at least one unreported assault
and was responsible for an arson attack in Strabane on the
home of a member of a District Policing Partnership. It was
also behind a number of vehicle hijackings in the same
area. We believe that INLA remains involved in organised
crime, including drugs and smuggling. During this period
the PSNI, in the course of investigations into money
laundering, recovered an INLA weapon, documents and
computer equipment. We conclude as before that the threat
of the organisation’s more active involvement remains
although its present capacity for a sustained campaign is
not high.

Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)

3.11 In our Seventh Report we recapped the detailed
information which we had given in our Sixth Report a month
earlier about the UVF/LVF feud and our view that the LVF’s
violence against the UVF had been largely by way of
response rather than as a campaign with a definite
objective. We noted that since the end of August the feud
had largely died down. We referred to the LVF’s heavy
involvement in organised crime and described it as a deeply
criminal organisation.

3.12 The feud with the UVF can be said to have come to an
end during the period under review in this report and there
has been no sign of its returning at the present time.

Before the end of the feud the LVF targeted UVF members
with a view to being able to undertake attacks and it was
responsible for one attempted murder. Its level of other
violent activity over the period under review was not high
but the organisation remains heavily involved in organised
crime, including drugs. We note the statement in October
2005 that the organisation would stand down its military
units, but we have not seen any evidence of the LVF
disbanding. There has therefore been no change to the
earlier conclusion about its essentially criminal nature.

Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA)

3.13 We pointed out in our Seventh Report that of the
period then under review all but one month had preceded the
very significant PIRA statement of 28 July 2005 and that it
was therefore too early to be drawing firm conclusions. We
reported that there had been no evidence of recruitment or
training after the statement, although there had been
before; that there had been only one unreported instance of
the use of violence after the statement, and that about a
week after; that there were indications of changes in the
organisation’s structure; that the picture on exiling was

3.14 This report is therefore the first to be focused
solely on the period since the July statement. We
understand that we are assessing what is likely to be a
difficult period for PIRA. We referred in our Fifth Report
to the statement made in April 2005 by the President of
Sinn Féin and we said that if he were able to develop those
ideas and to deliver as he then appeared to suggest he
would have demonstrated leadership of a high order. The
PIRA statement of 28 July spoke of ordering “an end to the
armed campaign”, of volunteers being “instructed to assist
the development of purely political and democratic
programmes through exclusively peaceful means”, and of
their not engaging “in any other activities whatsoever”. It
said that PIRA units had “been ordered to dump arms” and
that PIRA would “engage with the IICD so as to verifiably
put its arms beyond use”.

3.15 The organisation took a major initiative in its
statement and the subsequent significant act of
decommissioning. Though it is strongly led and firmly
disciplined there are bound to be some differences of view,
and it is not an easy task to bring everybody to full and
lasting acceptance of the role pointed to in the statement.

Leadership in these circumstances may take pragmatic
decisions or deliver messages which are not fully clear or
consistent 9. Like an oil tanker, the organisation will
take a while to turn completely, and there is likely to be
added turbulence in the wash as it does so. It would not
therefore surprise us if the picture at this stage, while
positive overall, was somewhat mixed.

3.16 There are a number of signs that the organisation is
moving in the way it had indicated in the July statement.
Although some other signs are at best neutral and a few are
more disturbing, most are in a positive direction. We are
of the firm view that the present PIRA leadership has taken
the strategic decision to end the armed campaign and pursue
the political course which it has publicly articulated. We
do not think that PIRA believes that terrorism has a part
in this political strategy. It has issued instructions to
its members about this change of mode, and has engaged in
internal consultation to support the strategy. There has
been some press comment about possible changes in the
membership of the Provisional Army Council but these remain
unconfirmed. The leadership sets high store on unity and on
avoiding the movement of people to dissident republican
groups – which we do not think has happened in any
significant way. It appears generally though not
universally to have maintained authority over its members.

3.17 While in at least some areas its level of visibility
may have lessened considerably PIRA has not disbanded
(indeed, it issued a New Year statement on 6 January 2006).

However some important and welcome internal changes are
taking place. We believe that the organisation as a whole
is being deliberately restructured to something more suited
for the times and no longer designed for terrorist

3.18 There are other indications of how the leadership is
seeking to bring about this transition. We have no evidence
of recruitment for paramilitary purposes or of paramilitary
training, though non-paramilitary briefings appear to
continue. We 17 9 We deal in this Section with the
leadership of PIRA as a paramilitary organisation. We deal
separately in Section 5 with the issue of the association
between the leadership of PIRA and that of Sinn Féin.

believe that currently there is no intention to target
members of the security forces for the purposes of attack.
We have no evidence that PIRA has carried out any
authorised paramilitary attacks in the period under review
in this report. The PIRA leadership has given instructions
that members should not be involved in rioting. The
involvement of local PIRA members in rioting in Kilcoo
following PSNI searches as part of the investigation of the
Northern Bank robbery was therefore contrary to those
instructions. PIRA members have been instructed to offer
their services to Sinn Féin and to pursue political
activities, as was indicated in the 28 July statement.

3.19 There are however a number of less satisfactory
indicators both of the behaviour of PIRA as an organisation
and of the conduct of some of its members. We referred in
our last report to intelligence gathering. We believe that
the organisation continues to engage in it, and has no
present intention of doing otherwise. This is an activity
which we believe is authorised by the leadership and which
involves some very senior members. While some of it may be
for defensive purposes, it is predominantly directed
towards supporting the political strategy. It involves
among other things the continuation of efforts to penetrate
public and other institutions with the intention of
illegally obtaining or handling sensitive information. This
raises the question of whether the commitment to
exclusively democratic means is full and thorough going, or
whether there remain elements of a continuing subversive
intent going beyond the boundaries of democratic politics,
a matter we addressed in paragraph 8.13 of our Fifth Report
10. The organisation continues to accumulate information
about individuals and groups, including members of the
security forces, though as we indicate above we do not
think there is any intent to mount attacks. We also think
that the organisation remains concerned about the potential
for action by dissident republican groups and that it
continues to monitor their activities, as it does those of
some drug dealers.

10 See paragraph 8.13 of the Fifth Report, which set out
the following questions. How does Sinn Féin now view the
claim made by PIRA to be the lawful government and
representative of the people in Ireland North and South?
Does the party seek power in Ireland North and South using
paramilitary muscle to back its participation in the
political process? Does it ultimately intend to participate
fully in democratic politics, and to observe all the
standards that requires, but to reach that position
maintaining for the time being some form of slimmed down
military capability? Or is it now ready to ensure that PIRA
ends all forms of illegal activity and to engage whole
heartedly in democratic politics and in policing? 3.20
Despite the instructions to which we refer above, the
occurrence of at least 6 unreported assaults has come to
our attention. These have mostly been the spontaneous
result of personal disputes and have been without
leadership authority or planning, though in the process
some can carry with them the aura of PIRA threat.

We believe the attack on Jeff Commander in September and
the associated intimidation was undertaken by current and
former PIRA members unsanctioned by the central leadership.
Exiling has not been lifted and some relocation of people
who are seen as troublesome individuals and families
continues. PIRA has used other methods of exercising
community control such as “naming and shaming” and we
believe the organisation has encouraged members to engage
in community restorative justice as a means of exerting
local influence. There are thus some signs of an
organisation which wants to maintain its traditional role
within its communities. It does not yet appear ready to
change its long standing opposition to the PSNI though the
attitude on the ground is variable and appears often to
depend on local circumstances or personalities; in some
cases there are clear indications of a growing community
readiness to engage with the police.

3.21 There are indications that in some areas PIRA units
have been closing down criminal operations and clearing
stocks of contraband goods, and we have no reports of PIRA
sanctioned robberies in the period under review. However,
members and former members of PIRA continue to be heavily
involved in serious organised crime, including
counterfeiting and the smuggling of fuel and tobacco11. As
in the past, we are not able to say confidently to what
extent the substantial proceeds of crime are passed to the

3.22 PIRA continues to raise funds and we also believe that
it looks to the long term exploitation of the proceeds of
earlier crimes, for example through the purchase of
property or legitimate businesses. Some senior members are
involved in money laundering and other crime. Money has
become a key strategic asset. There has been some
restructuring in the finance department, possibly in
reflection of the changing circumstances. PIRA also seems
to be using experts and specialists able to assist in the
management of illegal assets.

11 Overall, taking the activity of paramilitary and other
organised crime as a whole, there appears to be no
diminution in the amount of these illegal goods.

3.23 We referred in our previous report to the significant
act of decommissioning reported by the Independent
International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) on 26
September 2005. We have since received reports that not all
PIRA’s weapons and ammunition were handed over for
decommissioning in September. These reports are not able to
indicate precisely what is the nature or volume of any
remaining weapons but suggest two things: first, that there
is a range of different kinds of weapons and ammunition;
second, that the material goes beyond what might possibly
have been expected to have missed decommissioning, such as
a limited number of handguns kept for personal protection
or some items the whereabouts of which were no longer
known. We recognise that if these reports were confirmed
the key question would be how much the PIRA leadership knew
about these weapons.

These same reports do not cast doubt on the declared
intention of the PIRA leadership to eschew terrorism. For
our part, we are clear that this latter is their strategic

3.24 We understand that the IICD has made a report to the
two Governments and gather that they intend to publish it
at the same time as this report. Over the coming period we
will examine any implications that the IICD report or any
other developments may have for our work.

3.25 To sum up, the position is not entirely
straightforward. We see a number of definite signs of the
organisation moving in the direction indicated in the 28
July statement.

We see other signs which we would describe as neutral and
some which are more disturbing. For example, some members
continue to be engaged in significant crime and occasional
unauthorised assaults. Whereas these assaults are not in
our view sanctioned by the leadership, and may be directly
against its wishes, the contrary appears to be the case
with some other criminal activities such as the
exploitation of financial assets PIRA had previously
acquired or the illegal gathering of intelligence. The
indications that PIRA appears to retain long term
intentions to gather intelligence is also in our view a
matter for concern. On the other hand we believe there is a
clear strategic intent to turn the organisation on to a
political path and there is good evidence that this is
happening even given such constraints as there may be on
the leadership in this regard.

Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA)

3.26 In our Seventh Report we said that RIRA continued to
be the most active of the dissident republican groups. It
continued to recruit and train; had sought to improve its
capacity in weapons and explosives; was responsible for
real and hoax attacks;

and had targeted members of the security forces. We
concluded that it was violent, dangerous and determined.

3.27 In the 3 months under review in this report RIRA –
within which there are two factions – has continued to seek
to enhance its capacity as a paramilitary organisation. It
has sought to develop its capacity to acquire intelligence,
particularly on the security forces. It continues to
develop its equipment and to seek both to recruit members
and to acquire munitions. Some parts of the organisation
are working on a long-term strategy and are focussing on
the training of members.

3.28 RIRA has also undertaken acts of violence. As we said
in our previous report, we believe that members of the
organisation were responsible for the outrageous and very
violent assault in September on Denis Bradley, the Deputy
Chair of the Policing Board. It continues a campaign of
intimidation and violence against those it views as anti-
social, such as drug dealers, and has threatened to exile
such people. It was responsible for more of the dissident
republican assaults of which we are aware than other
groups, including that on two loyalists in an incident not
reported to the police and so not included in official
figures. Its involvement in organised crime continues, and
is exemplified by the arrest in November of three members,
resulting in the recovery of some two million contraband

Ulster Defence Association (UDA)

3.29 In our Seventh Report we said that the UDA had
continued to recruit and train members; had both considered
and undertaken violent attacks, including sectarian ones;
and remained active in organised crime, including drugs. We
concluded that it remained an active threat to the rule of

3.30 The picture on the UDA over the three months under
review is essentially the same.

It has been engaged in continuing paramilitary activity.
Members from East Belfast were in our view responsible for
the murder on 4 October of their fellow member Jim Gray who
was on bail following his arrest. Members also undertook a
sectarian attack in early September. The UDA and its
members have continued to undertake targeting, shootings
and assaults, some unreported; the UDA was responsible for
most of the loyalist incidents which it is possible to
attribute with certainty to a particular organisation,
although these attributions are a minority of the total.
There have been other violent incidents since the period
under review here. We believe that the organisation
continues to aspire to acquire weapons although we have no
evidence over this period that it has successfully done so.
We are aware of no change in the broad pattern of UDA
involvement in organised crime. Members of the organisation
were engaged in drug dealing, extortion, the production and
sale of counterfeit goods, money laundering and robbery.
Offences of this kind are committed or planned across the
whole organisation. Four senior members of the North
Belfast Brigade were arrested in November for a number of
these offences as well as for others involving threats to
kill and the possession of firearms.

3.31 The disorders on 10 September at the parade in
Whiterock were a significant event in the period under
review. The UDA, together with the UVF to which we refer
below, was closely involved in planning the co-ordination
of violent protests and it made weapons available for the
occasion. Again like the UVF, it planned to use these
weapons against the security forces in the event of
disorder. Senior UDA members helped orchestrate violence
during the parade, and members hijacked vehicles and during
the course of the rioting attacked the police and military
with gunfire, blast bombs and petrol bombs. In the
following few days we believe that the leadership of the
UDA concluded that things had escalated unacceptably on 10
September and it decided that there should be no further
UDA involvement in the continuing disorders. With the UVF
and RHC, it then took steps to prevent further rioting.

3.32 We give no credit to the UDA for trying to rein back
on disorders which it had done so much to foster just
because it found things had reached an unacceptable level.
But we do nevertheless think that there are signs that some
people within some parts of the organisation or associated
with it want to steer the UDA away from violence and crime
and into community development. We applaud constructive
community work and activities such as the removal of flags
and murals. Another important step would be for loyalist
paramilitaries, including the UDA, to stop targeting
nationalists and members of ethnic minorities. We hope that
the UPRG will give a clear and robust lead on this 12. We
see these activities as potentially part of the difficult
process of transition and hope they will progress. But this
cannot disguise the continuing involvement of the UDA in
violent and other crime during the period under review in
this report.

Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Red Hand Commando (RHC)

3.33 In our Seventh Report we recapped the detailed
information we had given a month earlier in our Sixth
Report about the UVF/LVF feud. We noted that most of the
violent incidents in the feud had been the responsibility
of the UVF and concluded that the UVF leadership had
decided it was the time to finish off the LVF. The UVF had
also been involved in violent incidents not associated with
the feud, some of them sectarian, and remained involved in
organised crime, including drugs. We concluded, as we had
before, that the UVF was active, violent and ruthless.

3.34 The feud with the LVF died down after the end of
August and can be said to have come to an end during the
period under review. The UVF and Progressive Unionist Party
(PUP) leaderships were involved in de-escalatating it 13.
Before this happened the UVF was, we believe, responsible
for one attempted murder. Apart from the feud, the
organisation has continued to conduct both shootings and
assaults and its members have undertaken sectarian attacks
across Northern Ireland over the three months. With the UDA
it was prominently involved in the violence at the
Whiterock parade on 10 September: both organisations
planned co-ordinated protests and both made weapons
available for the occasion, and both planned to use them
against the security forces in the event of disorder.
Senior members of the UVF were involved on the day in
orchestrating violence at the parade, and during the course
of the rioting members were responsible for hijacking
vehicles and for attacks on the police

12 We deal further with the UPRG in Section 5.

13 We deal further with the role of the PUP in Section 5.

and military involving gunfire, blast bombs and petrol
bombs. After the parade, and again in common with the UDA,
the UVF concluded that things had gone too far on the day
and that its members should not be further involved in the
rioting. With the UDA and RHC, the UVF then took steps to
prevent further rioting.

3.35 UVF members were also involved in two other outbreaks
of disorder, one of them in the Shankill Road following the
arrest of a senior UVF commander. The organisation
continues to aspire to acquire weapons though we have no
indication of any recent success in doing so. We are aware
of no significant change to the broad pattern of the UVF’s
involvement in organised and other crime but we believe
that elements within the leadership are making efforts to
reduce criminality, including drug dealing, within the
organisation. We welcome this, and will watch with interest
to see what happens. One important step would be for
loyalist paramilitaries, including the UVF and RHC, to stop
targeting nationalists and ethnic minorities. We hope the
PUP will give a clear and robust lead on this.

3.36 The level of UVF activity has therefore been less than
it was in the six months covered by our previous report,
mainly because of the ending of the feud with the LVF.
Despite the welcome steps the leadership has taken on the
feud and other crime we do not at this stage change our
overall assessment of the organisation. It remains a
continuing and serious threat to the rule of law and our
previous phrase – active, violent and ruthless – still
applies to it. We very much hope we will start to see this


4.1 This Section focuses mainly on the 3 months from 1
September to 30 November 2005.

4.2 On this occasion we are reporting on a much shorter
period than normal, which makes it harder to draw firm
conclusions about trends. We have accordingly set out the
data for the months from 1 September against the background
of the 6-monthly periods we have previously examined. We
think it would be better to base our usual analysis of the
percentage changes on a full 6 months, and will therefore
include this in our next report in April 2006 for the
period 1 September 2005 to 28 February 2006.

4.3 As in the past, we are anxious to emphasise that
statistics alone cannot lay bare the cruel nature or
traumatic impact of acts of violence, and reveal nothing of
the unreported incidents, whether involving violence or
intimidation short of violence.

We also continue to believe that the words “punishment” and
“beating” underplay the nature of what can happen and tend
to give respectability to it, and so should not be used.

4.4 Over the period from 1 March 2003 until 30 November
2005 we believe that the number of paramilitary murders was
as follows:

(Graph Ommitted here)

We have not included in this table the murder on 7 November
of Martin Conlon.

Although the victim was suspected of being a member of RIRA
we are not at present able to say who was responsible for
his death. We will provide in a future report any more
specific information that becomes available to us.

4.5 The one murder definitely attributable to
paramilitaries in the three months under review was of a
leading member of the UDA by, we believe, members of the
same organisation. Subject to the qualifications noted in
the above table, we are aware of no paramilitary murders
which were committed on behalf of republican groups or with
the sanction of their leadership since August 2003. The
welcome reduction in the 3 months under review from the
very high level in the preceding six months reflects the
end of the feud between the UVF and LVF, which had led to 4
of the 5 deaths, all of them in July and August 2005. The
rate of paramilitary murder in these 3 months is however
comparable to that over most of the period since the
analysis started in January 2003.

**The case is still under investigation and nothing we say
must prejudice possible legal proceedings. A member or
former member of PIRA may have been involved in the killing
of Joseph Rafferty in Dublin in April 2005. We have no
reason to believe that the murder was carried out on behalf
of PIRA. However we believe that members of both Sinn Féin
and PIRA were aware in advance of the threat and did not
take sufficient action to prevent it.

* As in our Fifth Report, the categorisation of the murder
of Robert McCartney on 30 January 2005 is not yet
definitive, and we do not therefore include a figure for it
in this table. But we remain of the view we expressed in
that Report – that members of PIRA were involved in the
murder though we do not believe that central PIRA
leadership sanctioned it in advance.

14 Information suggests this death may have been linked to
a republican paramilitary group but the precise motivation
and attribution remain unclear.

15 One of these was abducted and murdered by a republican
group but we are unable to say which group. One was a
member of PIRA killed in the struggle when attempting to
undertake a paramilitary attack.

16 As we indicated in our Fifth Report published in May
2005, we are not in a position to comment on the killing of
Stephen Montgomery. We said in our Sixth Report on the
UVF/LVF feud published in September 2005, that we recognise
that people may have expected us to refer here to the
disappearance of Lisa Dorrian on 28 February 2005 and her
murder, and to the murder of Thomas Devlin on 10 August

It remains the case that we have no reason to believe that
either murder was carried out on behalf of a paramilitary

4.6 The number of casualties of paramilitary shootings and
assaults in the 3 months since 1 September 2005 is as
follows. The figures, like those which we have included in
all our previous reports, are of incidents reported to the
police. Subject to the qualification we have always made
and which we repeat here – that they are subject to minor
statistical adjustment – we have been confident that they
have reflected the situation on the ground. In particular,
the International Agreement requires us to monitor trends
and we believe that the trends have been reflected in these

We have in the past also occasionally referred to
unreported incidents when presenting our analysis of the
individual paramilitary groups. We think that the situation
may be changing with regard to unreported incidents. We
therefore direct readers to what we say in Section 3 about
the individual groups in order to gain a fuller picture,
though with such unreported incidents it is not possible to
give precise and accurate figures.

The following paramilitary murders have occurred since 1
September 2005 Jim Gray, murdered 4 October 2005.

4.7 Loyalist paramilitaries have inflicted nearly all the
reported casualties: all 22 of those of shooting and all
but one of the 9 of assaults. The one reported assault that
we are able to attribute to a republican group was by
dissidents. The rate of shooting victims in the 3 months
under review was much the same as in the preceding year
while that for assault victims was very considerably lower.

4.8 Our remit requires us to look at trends in paramilitary
crime. The following graphs include the monthly figures we
have previously published, extended by 3 months from 1
September 2005 so that the trends in shootings and assaults
are clear.


4.9 It remains our very strong belief that exiling is one
of the most insidious manifestations of paramilitary
activity. Exiling – or the threat or fear of it – is a key
element in the exercise of community control to which we
refer in Section 2. The ending of exiling, and allowing
those previously exiled freely to return home should they
wish to do so, remain for us one test of whether a
paramilitary group has given up illegality. The practice of
exiling continues with all groups, in some instances
apparently unabated, though in others the number of new
cases may have reduced considerably.


4.10 As we say above, we think it would be better to base
our usual analysis of the percentage changes in the
incidence of violence on a full 6 months, and will include
it in our report in April 2006 for the period 1 September
2005 to 28 February 2006.

Nevertheless we note that in the 3 months under review
here, 1 September – 30 November 2005:

:: the victim of the one murder which we can attribute to a
paramilitary group was a leading member of the UDA killed,
we believe, by members of the same organisation;

:: all the 22 reported shooting victims and all but 1 of
the 9 reported assault victims were the result of loyalist
attacks; the one reported republican assault was by a
dissident group and none of those reported is attributable
to PIRA;

:: the overall rate of shootings was broadly unchanged
compared with the previous year, while that of assaults was
very considerably lower.


5.1 Article 4 of the International Agreement requires us to
assess whether the leadership of paramilitary groups is
directing illegal activities or seeking to prevent them.

5.2 We continue to apply to those in positions of
leadership in political parties associated with
paramilitary groups the standards we first set out in our
Fifth Report in May 2005, and which we reiterated in our
last report three months ago. We believe that they should
articulate their opposition to all forms of illegality;
should exert their influence against members of
paramilitary groups who have not given up crime; and should
give clear support to the criminal justice system.

5.3 There are two political parties to whom these standards
are particularly relevant – Sinn Féin and the Progressive
Unionist Party. They also apply to the Ulster Political
Research Group.

5.4 In the case of Sinn Féin, we referred in our last
report to the PIRA statement of 28 July 2005 and to the
subsequent decommissioning of weapons reported by the IICD
on 26 September. We said that these events indicated that
very major progress had been made in the direction that the
President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, had spelt out in his
statement of April that year.

5.5 We went on to say that although the initial signs were
encouraging we felt it was too early then to draw firm
conclusions about changes in the overall behaviour of PIRA.

This was because five of the six months under review in
that report preceded the July statement. Accordingly, we
decided that we should not make any comment at that stage
on the recommendation we had made in our Fourth Report in
February 2005 that the Secretary of State should consider
exercising the powers he had to take financial measures in
respect of Sinn Féin in the Assembly. Nor did we then
pursue the separate comment we had also made in our Fourth
Report, namely that people had suggested to us that Sinn
Féin should not continue to receive public funds from other
sources if they were denied them in the context of the
Northern Ireland Assembly.

5.6 The Secretary of State, having considered financial
measures in line with our recommendation last February, had
then decided that he should remove block financial
assistance from Sinn Féin in the Assembly for the maximum
period allowed under the legislation, namely twelve months.
This took effect on 29 April 2005. The Secretary of State
also decided to pursue our separate comment on other
sources of funding and on 10 March 2005 invited the House
of Commons to suspend the allowances of Sinn Féin Members
of the UK Parliament for twelve months. The House of
Commons agreed to his proposal, which took effect on 1

5.7 On 19 October 2005, the day the British and Irish
Governments published our last report, the Secretary of
State announced that he had decided to restore Sinn Féin’s
Assembly allowances with effect from 1 November and that he
would in due course recommend to the House of Commons that
it lift the suspension of the allowances of Sinn Féin MPs.
This he did on 26 January 2006 and the House of Commons is
due to debate it on 8 February.

5.8 In the circumstances we have described in this report
we do not believe that financial measures against Sinn Féin
of the kind referred to above should continue.

5.9 In the case of the PUP, we had recommended in our Fifth
Report in May 2005 that the Secretary of State should
continue the financial measures against it which had been
imposed in April 2004, to run for twelve months. By these
measures the Secretary of State had removed the party’s
financial support in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The
Secretary of State decided not to implement the
recommendations we made in our Fifth Report, which we saw
no grounds for rescinding in our Seventh Report in October
2005. In consequence the PUP has been in receipt of its
Assembly allowances since April 2005.

5.10 In the course of preparing this present report we have
examined closely the role of the PUP in relation to the UVF
and RHC, to which we refer in paragraphs 3.32 – 3.35. We
note the considerable efforts on the part of the PUP
leadership to end the UVF’s feud with the LVF in the late
summer, and the lead it has given on the need for the UVF
to change their attitude to violence and other crime. We
believe the leadership has put energy into this positive
step. There have been some indications 32 of early progress
and we hope that its efforts will show success. We will
return to this matter in future reports. In the light of
these developments we do not think that financial measures
against the PUP are appropriate at this time.

5.11 We believe that the UPRG has also begun to make some
progress. It has engaged in discussions designed to move
things in a better direction and in efforts to influence
the UDA. In our view it recognises the importance of ending
violence and other crime if local communities are to
develop, and it has focused on means of trying to secure
these developments. We welcome the steps it has taken and
hope they will progress much further. We will return to
this in future reports.



6.1 We draw the following points from the preceding

:: The process of transition to a society where a culture
of lawfulness is the norm is bound to be complex and will
involve internal debate within communities and paramilitary
groups in which the role of the leadership will be crucial.
We think there are indications of a dynamic of change
occurring in Northern Ireland, though it is patchy in its
occurrence and impact;

:: Whatever the process of transition may involve for
individual groups or communities there can be no dilution
of the principle that the rule of law must prevail;

:: We continue to believe that properly administered
community restorative justice has an important role to play
in helping wean communities away from reliance on, and
control by, paramilitaries. We note its continuing
development. We are aware nevertheless of instances where
members of the public believe that these schemes have been
exploited by paramilitaries as a means of continuing their
control in a more respectable guise and we believe there
have been instances of this. We do not wish the reputation
of community restorative justice to be tarnished and so it
is essential that paramilitaries are not allowed to operate
in this way. To the extent that they do, the human rights
of members of these communities are undermined, the schemes
are damaged, and the development of a culture of lawfulness
is inhibited.

:: All paramilitary groups are engaged in illegal activity
to varying extents.

Dissident republicans remain committed to terrorism and are
deeply involved in organised crime. We have no doubt that
PIRA, uniquely among paramilitary organisations, has taken
the strategic decision to eschew terrorism and pursue a
political path. There are a number of signs that the
organisation is moving in the way it indicated in its
statement of 28 July 2005. But in the light of some of the
34 activities we refer to a real question remains of
whether this will involve purely conventional politics
conducted within a culture of lawfulness. Loyalist groups,
which are violent as well as responsible for a wide range
of other crime, have not made the strategic choice which
PIRA has made. But there are some early signs of change
amongst loyalists which we hope to see taken much further.

:: The one paramilitary murder was by members of the UDA of
one of the organisation’s senior leaders. Loyalists were
responsible for all the other reported shootings and
assaults, bar one of the latter which was the
responsibility of a dissident republican group. The overall
rate of shootings was comparable to that of the previous
year; that of assaults was very considerably lower.

6.2 In our Fifth Report in May 2005 we set out what we
believed Northern Ireland political parties should achieve.
We referred to the importance of them articulating their
opposition to all forms of crime, the importance of
exerting influence against members of paramilitary groups
who would not give up crime, and giving a clear lead in
support of the organs of the criminal justice system,
including its participative organs. We set out the full
text in Annex III. We will continue to be guided by this

6.3 Article 7 of the International Agreement allows us to

:: Any remedial action we consider necessary in respect of
the matters on which we are reporting under Article 4.

:: Any measure we think might appropriately be taken by the
Northern Ireland Assembly17. This part of the Article does
not apply while the Assembly remains unrestored, but that
does not prevent us from saying what we would have done had
it been sitting, or from making recommendations to the
Secretary of State about the exercise of the powers he has
in these circumstances. We have done both these things in
earlier reports.

17 Article 7 is at Annex I. A summary of the statutory
measures which the IMC can recommend for action by the
Northern Ireland Assembly is at Annex III.

6.4 We recommend:

:: In the circumstances described in this report we do not
believe that financial measures against Sinn Féin of the
kind referred to in our Fourth Report 18 should continue;

:: In the light of what we describe in this report we do
not think that financial measures against the PUP would be
appropriate at this time.

6.5 These recommendations do not mean that we would not
recommend the reimposition of financial measures should we
feel that future circumstances justified that.

18 IMC Fourth Report, February 2005, paragraph 21.




Article 4

In relation to the remaining threat from paramilitary
groups, the Commission shall:

(a) monitor any continuing activity by paramilitary groups

i. attacks on the security forces, murders, sectarian
attacks, involvement in riots, and other criminal offences;

ii. training, targeting, intelligence gathering,
acquisition or development of arms or weapons and other
preparations for terrorist campaigns;

iii. punishment beatings and attacks and exiling;

(b) assess:

i. whether the leaderships of such organisations are
directing such incidents or seeking to prevent them; and

ii. trends in security incidents.

(c) report its findings in respect of paragraphs (a) and
(b) of this Article to the two Governments at six-monthly
intervals; and, at the joint request of the two
Governments, or if the Commission sees fit to do so,
produce further reports on paramilitary activity on an ad
hoc basis.

Article 7

When reporting under Articles 4 and 6 of this Agreement,
the Commission, or in the case of Article 6(2), the
relevant members thereof shall recommend any remedial
action considered necessary. The Commission may also
recommend what measures, if any, it considers might
appropriately be taken by the Northern Ireland Assembly,
such measures being limited to those which the Northern
Ireland Assembly has power to take under relevant United
Kingdom law.



These guiding principles were set out in the statement the
IMC issued on 9 March 2004.

:: The rule of law is fundamental in a democratic society.

:: We understand that there are some strongly held views
about certain aspects of the legal framework, for example
the special provisions applying to terrorism, and that
those holding these views will continue to seek changes.
But obedience to the law is incumbent on every citizen.

:: The law can be legitimately enforced only by duly
appointed and accountable law enforcement officers or
institutions. Any other forcible imposition of standards is
unlawful and undemocratic.

:: Violence and the threat of violence can have no part in
democratic politics. A society in which they play some role
in political or governmental affairs cannot – in the words
of Article 3 – be considered either peaceful or stable.

:: Political parties in a democratic and peaceful society,
and all those working in them, must not in any way benefit
from, or be associated with, illegal activity of any kind,
whether involving violence or the threat of it, or crime of
any kind, or the proceeds of crime. It is incumbent on all
those engaged in democratic politics to ensure that their
activities are untainted in any of these ways.

:: It is not acceptable for any political party, and in
particular for the leadership, to express commitment to
democratic politics and the rule of law if they do not live
up to those statements and do all in their power to ensure
that those they are in a position to influence do the same.



8.9 We think it might be helpful if we indicated in this
report the sort of thing we believe political parties
generally need to do in order to demonstrate that they are
giving the right leadership, whether they are parties which
are associated with paramilitaries or over whom they may
have influence, or not. We also think that it is right to
set out a challenge to any political parties which may find
themselves in positions of influence over paramilitaries.

8.10 Given the normal standards expected of political
parties in a democratic society, what should Northern
Ireland political parties achieve? They should:

:: Make their commitment to the ending of all forms of
paramilitary crime credible and vocal.

:: By any lawful means exert the maximum possible influence
to the same end over paramilitary groups and over
individual members.

:: Credibly and vocally challenge those members of
paramilitary groups who may be reluctant to give up crime,
and give full support to those who are ready to do so.

:: Give credible, vocal and practical support to all parts
of the criminal justice system, including policing, and
similarly accept the definition of crime that the law lays

:: Play a full and constructive role in the participative
organs of the criminal justice system such as the Policing
Board and the District Policing Partnerships.

Within the framework of support for the rule of law, engage
in open and constructive debate with the two Governments
and with the various commissions and other bodies in
Northern Ireland concerned with the criminal justice system
over the ending of all forms of paramilitary crime and the
establishment of firm community support for the criminal
justice system.



Article 7 of the International Agreement specifies that the
IMC may recommend measures for action by the Northern
Ireland Assembly, such measures being limited to those
which the Northern Ireland Assembly has powers to take
under UK legislation. The full text of Article 7 is in
Annex I.

Measures which may be taken under UK legislation

(1) A Minister or junior Minister may be excluded by the
Assembly from holding office as a Minister or junior
Minister for a period of not less than three months and not
more than twelve months.

(2) Members of a political party may be excluded by the
Assembly from holding office as Ministers or junior
Ministers for a period of not less than six months and not
more than twelve months.

(3) A Minister or junior Minister may for a specified
period have his salary, or part of it, stopped by
resolution of the Assembly.

(4) Members of the Assembly who are members of a particular
political party may for a specified period have their
salaries, or part thereof, stopped by resolution of the

(5) The financial assistance which is payable to political
parties may be stopped in whole or in part by resolution of
the Assembly.

19 This summary does not purport to be an authorative legal
interpretation of the relevant legislation. For the actual
legislative provisions see Northern Ireland Act 1998 and
the Northern Ireland (Monitoring Commission etc.) Act 2003.

(6) A Minister, a junior Minister of a political party may
be censured by a resolution of the Assembly.

Powers similar to those set out in (1) to (5) may in
certain circumstances be exercised by the Secretary of


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