'Significant' UUP announcement due amid revelations IRA still exists

'Significant' UUP announcement due amid revelations IRA still exists

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MPs and Assembly members are to meet today ahead of a “significant” announcement about powersharing in the North.

Unionists have threatened to exclude Sinn Féin from the ministerial Executive after revelations that the IRA still exists. A unionist walk out from the Stormont body is another option.

It follows remarks by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) that the paramilitary group still exists but is not engaged in terrorism.

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt

The PSNI also said some of its members were involved in the murder of father-of-nine Kevin McGuigan in Belfast two weeks ago but it was not sanctioned at a senior level.

Ireland’s Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has ordered a “fresh assessment” of the activities of the Provisional IRA by the Gardaí - even though Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has previously said the force has no "information or intelligence" on IRA activity.

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said the Government was not "second-guessing" the Gardaí, but asking them to work with the PSNI "to understand in more detail where the Provisional IRA structures of the past are now."

The PSNI analysis – almost 20 years after the Provisional IRA’s last ceasefire and a decade on from decommissioning its weapons – has triggered another political controversy at Stormont.

Unionists have threatened a bid to exclude Sinn Féin from the devolved powersharing Executive. Sinn Féin said there is no basis for the threats.

But the North’s Secretary Theresa Villiers said she remained satisfied that all parties in the Assembly remained committed to peace.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said over the weekend the IRA has “gone away”.

More in this Section

Luke Kelly statue vandalised for seventh time in DublinLuke Kelly statue vandalised for seventh time in Dublin

Labour party calls for eviction ban legal advice to be publishedLabour party calls for eviction ban legal advice to be published

Public urged to contact GP with Covid-19 symptoms amid reports of delayed presentationPublic urged to contact GP with Covid-19 symptoms amid reports of delayed presentation

Galway plane crashed on way to hospice fundraiserGalway plane crashed on way to hospice fundraiser


Lifestyle

The long-tailed tit’s nest is an architectural marvel.Richard Collins: Altruism of the long-tailed tits or not

The flight that brought us home to Ireland after our seven months sojourn in the Canary Islands (half our stay intended, half not) was the most comfortable I’ve experienced in years. With a large plane almost entirely to yourself, you could again pretend you were somebody.Damien Enright: Wonderful to see the green, green grass of home

IRISH folklore is replete with stories of priests praying for fine weather to help farmers save their crops in wet summers. However, the opposite could soon be happening when divine powers may have to be invoked to provide rain. And not just for farmers.Donal Hickey: Praying for rain — in Ireland

Geography is often the defining factor for the destiny of an island. Those islands that lie close to the shore have often been snapped up by interests on the mainland and their morphology changed to something completely different.The Islands of Ireland: Tarbert morphed onto the mainland

More From The Irish Examiner