Thursday, November 10, 2005

Get Off Their Backs

Eleven years after ceasefires and seven years after the Good Friday Agreement, the illegal organisations should be ‘out of business’. Their existence is offensive to Irish democracy. All of this should have ended long ago. As events over the last eleven years and up to this very day show, this is not the case and it cannot go on. There are steps to get loyalist paramilitaries off the back of the people, through dialogue, in elections and through campaigning. Tackling loyalist crime by taking down their flags of hate, putting at end to criminal loyalist agents, Exposing loyalist collusion, Sending out the strongest political messages and supporting communities equally.

Loyalist organisations are deeply involved in crime. The recent success of the police and ARA can and should be built on. There must be a message that there is no hiding place for the organised crime gang. Sectarian flags should not be flown from public property and the police and other authorities should have the legal power to stop and take down loyalist flags. This legal power must mean immediate intervention by the police and public bodies to address such displays. A significant number of agents have been closed down. This work should be continued by: Ending of army agents PSNI primacy in intelligence gathering with scrupulous compliance with rules governing management of agents and distribution of intelligence

Loyalist collusion is now proven however it still needs public exposure because their victims families ought to have the truth. The role of all those involved must be known. No easing up on the call for a public independent judicial inquiry into Finucane A truth recovery mechanism, whereby those responsible in loyalism and the state for collusion should acknowledge and account in public for their actions in the past. There are a number of particular cases, involving loyalist organisations, which require renewed effort to pursue those responsible. These cases include the murder of Martin O’Hagan and the David McIlwaine and Andrew Robb cases. There is genuine public concern, which must be seen to addressed.

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