TUV asks DUP if it had prior knowledge about IRA activity

Jim Allister
Jim Allister

The TUV has asked the DUP if it covered up knowledge of IRA activity from security service briefings for the sake of political office.

TUV leader Jim Allister said the DUP’s Peter Robinson and Jeffrey Donaldson were appointed to the Privy Council in 2007, after which they said they would have access to secret intelligence on the IRA and loyalist paramilitaries from MI5 and other security agencies.

“In the eight years since the DUP has had nothing to say about either the IRA’s existence or its activity,” Mr Allister said.

“If the Chief Constable and the Secretary of State knew the IRA still existed, then, mustn’t DUP Privy Councillors, who claim briefings by MI5, have also known?”

He asked if the DUP was conned about Privy council briefings “or have they kept their knowledge under wraps for the sake of political office?”

And if the Privy Council briefings failed them, why should they have confidence in proposals for a “reheated” International Monitoring Commission, he asked.

However, DUP MP Mr Donaldson responded that, unlike Mr Allister, he served in the security forces in the fight against the IRA “so I will not take any lectures from a barrack room politician”.

He added: “In all our briefings with the Chief Constable at no time were we told that the IRA was engaged in terrorist activity, and if we had been we would have taken political action.

“The first time we knew was when the Chief Constable went public about it.”