While individual former members of the IRA are involved in a wide range of criminal activities in this jurisdiction, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan said yesterday the military structure of the Provisional IRA has been disbanded.
She was speaking to reporters at the graduation of 94 new gardaí at Templemore college.
Asked if the Provisional IRA still exists, she said the Garda’s assessment was consistent with the 2011 International Monitoring Commission’s report that the Provisional IRA had given up its terrorist capacity.
“However, some former members of the Provisional IRA remain involved in criminal activity and indeed, in this jurisdiction we’re very aware of the wide variety of criminal activity, but without sanction or support from the organisation. However, we are keeping the matter under continuous assessment and of course anything new that emerges we will be informing the minister.”
Ms O’Sullivan said she was very aware of ongoing investigations in the North of Ireland by the PSNI: “I am very conscious that nothing we will say here would impact on those ongoing investigations.”
She said a number of factors have an input into their ongoing assessments of paramilitary activities.
Asked about the shredding of bags of documents by her predecessor Martin Callinan she said she had appointed an assistant commissioner to examine matters which emerged from the Fennelly report, which highlighted the shredding issue, and to review policies, procedures and governance surrounding issues such as the shredding of documents.
As 94 new gardaí left Templemore training college yesterday for stations around the country, they were warned by Ms O’Sullivan that theirs is a job which carries many dangers.
She told them: “This year so far, over 200 members of An Garda Síochána have been injured on duty; 33 of them have sustained serious injuries.
“What always strikes me is when you talk to those members injured on duty, the focus is always on getting back to work as quickly and as early as possible, to get back into serving their community, doing the job they joined An Garda Síochána to do.”
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