» Monday, October 10, 2005

Northern Ireland

Asked about progress in Northern Ireland since decommissioning, the PMOS said we should look back at where we were in July. We had heard a very clear form of words from the IRA. We had now seen the decommissioning commission and the 2 independent witnesses saying that full decommissioning had taken place. We awaited the IMC report on paramilitary activity, or rather the lack of it in terms of the IRA. What we had seen was the implementation, we believed, of what the IRA had said it would do in July and we hoped the IMC report would support that. That was progress. Given the past we understood people’s scepticism but we believed that as the implications of the decommissioning report were assessed and once the IMC report came out hopefully people would begin to see that this time things had really changed.

Asked whether the Inland Revenue’s Asset Recovery Agency had refrained from going after "Slab" Murphy’s assets until after the decommissioning process had completed, the PMOS suggested that what was reported in newspapers was not always the case. The Asset Recovery Agency was an independent body and its remit had always been to take action against whomever it believed it needed to take action against. He had no doubt this was the basis of their actions in this instance where they had taken action against loyalist paramilitaries who had, unfortunately, not decommissioned.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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