Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Border Region Development Brendan Smith says the findings of an independent report on paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland published today by the British Government makes for very worrying reading.
Following the publication of the report Deputy Smith said, “The findings of this report are very disturbing and demonstrate that there is still a very real and credible threat to peace in Northern Ireland and it is now clear that a sinister criminal element is still very much in existence.
“There needs to be a renewed mandate for the International Monitoring Commission to ensure that paramilitary organisations are kept under surveillance and there activities are fully monitored. This is imperative to restore confidence and trust in the power-sharing Executive.
“The findings of the report also underscore the need for a Cross Border Multi-Agency Task Force to tackle issues such as smuggling. Fianna Fáil has already launched a Bill in the Dáil calling for such an Agency to be established. Communities on both sides of the border have been affected by this type of criminality, further emphasising the need for greater co-operation between the relevant statutory agencies North and South. Enhanced Garda resources are also needed to circumvent such activity and we are calling on the Government to ensure that adequate resources are given to the Gardai to deal with this issue.
“All stakeholders must work together to refocus and re-energize the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement. Both the British and Irish Governments must continue their direct involvement in consolidating and building on the peace secured in Northern Ireland. As an internationally binding agreement it is imperative that all elements of the Agreement are implemented in full. Fianna Fáil worked tirelessly to secure peace in Northern Ireland and is committed to ensuring that that peace is realized in full for the benefit of all the people on all of this island.”