UK-Ireland terror group treaty set to be signed

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire.

The UK and Irish governments are expected to sign a treaty aimed at bringing a new paramilitary monitoring group into being.

The pledge to set up the group – called the Independent Reporting Commission (IRC) – had been contained in the Fresh Start accord between the DUP and Sinn Fein last November, setting out a raft of proposals spanning issues from Corporation Tax to the display of flags.

On Friday, the Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire stated that the group would be up-and-running by the end of the year.

The intention is for the IRC to report at least once a year on progress towards ending paramilitary activity.

It will be made up of four members, “including persons of international standing,” according to the Northern Ireland Office.

The Irish government will nominate one member, as will the UK government.

The Sinn Fein/DUP-run Northern Ireland Executive will nominate two members between them.

The IRC’s annual reports will be published by the UK and Irish governments.

It is expected the treaty to create the IRC will be signed at Iveagh House, Dublin.

Mr Brokenshire said today’s signing will bring “an end to paramilitarism a step closer”.