Allister attacks ‘toothless’ paramilitary report

TUV leader Jim Allister
TUV leader Jim Allister

The leader of the TUV has decried the newly-published report into paramilitary activity as “toothless”.

Jim Allister said that the report had “dodged” key issues about ongoing PIRA structures, after it was unveiled on Tuesday.

Among the report’s findings are the PSNI are opting to “engage” with paramilitaries rather than arrest them.

The statement said: “Considering that the Chief Constable and the Government’s panel last autumn confirmed the IRA still exists, retains military structures, access to weapons and murdered McGuigan, it speaks to its whitewash mission that today’s report by the panel on paramilitarism dodged these realities - no doubt, in part, because of the embarrassment that Lord Alderdice i n his IMC days had proclaimed an end to the IRA.

“The embarrassment that Joint First Minister continues to deny the existence of the IRA made the panel’s cop out even more politically convenient.

“What a farce that this panel reports to McGuinness from the party – in the words of Arlene Foster – ‘inextricably linked’ to the major paramilitary organisation, the Provisional IRA, but ducks the question of whether there is an IRA to disband!

“When it comes to dealing with paramilitaries this is a largely toothless report.

“Though it gives but passing mention to the victims of paramilitaries, it has plenty to say about how life could be made easier for the victim-makers.

Sanitising their past, ignoring their records, funding them into lawfulness, letting them share their ‘journey’ with schoolchildren, are all part of the matrix of soft landing for paramilitaries.

“Adequately dealing with organised crime is long overdue, but equivocating over which organisations exist in that category is not a good start.”