SF should call on the PIRA Army Council to disband

Letters
Letters

The people of Northern Ireland have waited for far too long for these paramilitary groups to go away.

This has got to be the last chance for republican and loyalist paramilitaries to get their act together, because the vast majority is sick of being held back by violent extremes.

Gerry Adams and other senior republicans need to show leadership and make it clear to the IRA that it should cease to exist and that its Army Council has to disband.

The current political impasse has occurred chiefly because the republican movement has failed to honour the agreement it made at Stormont House.

Sinn Féin can finally play a constructive role in building a successful Northern Ireland, by living up to its political commitments under that agreement and acting to remove the scourge of paramilitarism from hard-pressed communities, which have been held back for so long.

The same message has to go out to loyalist paramilitaries too. You are not helping your communities by remaining in existence. In fact you are stifling aspiration and preventing social mobility. The Loyalist Communities Council will only be worthwhile if it is allied to a concerted effort to rid our society of gangsterism.

The silent majority in Northern Ireland has been held back by politics focussed on violent extremes.

We need to spell out now that the bus to a prosperous, successful society is finally leaving, and that paramilitaries had better jump on board, by ceasing their activities, or they will be left behind and face the full rigour of the law.

We’ve been waiting for eighteen years, but we’re not prepared to wait for them any longer.

Frank Shivers, NI Conservatives