Justice Minister orders new assessment of the IRA

Justice Minister orders new assessment of the IRA

The Minister for Justice has ordered the Gardaí to undertake a fresh assessment of the IRA and its activities in light of recent developments in the North.

In a statement Frances Fitzgerald said that she wants Gardaí to take into account information that the PSNI has uncovered as part of its investigation into the murder of Kevin McGuigan in Belfast.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that there are a number of meetings planned over the next week to discuss the latest security assessment.

"I don't need any lectures about how serious this issue is, this is ongoing," Minister Fitzgerald said.

"I'm meeting Secretary of State Theresa Villiers on Tuesday, and what I said on Sunday was exactly what I'm saying today in relation to the provisional IRA - that our assessment and the security assessment is inline with what the independent monitoring commission said."

"But if new evidence emerges, clearly we want to hear about that and that is always under assessment," she said.

Earlier, the Tánaiste and Labour leader described comments from the PSNI Chief Constable about the status of the IRA as 'extremely worrying'.

George Hamilton said at the weekend that some of the Provisional IRA's organisational structure still exists, although not for a paramilitary purpose.

Meanwhile, a PSNI detective last week linked the organisation with the murder of Kevin McGuigan, which authorities believe could have been a revenge killing after the earlier murder of Gerard 'Jock' Davison.

Joan Burton said that whatever is left of the IRA cannot be allowed to pose a threat to democracy.

"We do not want to be left with one of the legacies of the peace process as being of a shadowy organisation that is involved in criminality and racketeering," said Minister Burton.

"And in the area that's affected, we've now had two families who have had family members murdered."

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