Rachel Woods

Independent report should call time on denial of the existence of paramilitaries

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Councillor Rachel Woods has commented on the publication of the Independent Reporting Commission (IRC) report on efforts to combat paramilitarism as part of the Fresh Start Agreement.

Cllr Rachel Woods, who sits on Ards and North Borough Council says the work of the IRC should call time on politicians who pretend that paramilitaries and their criminality don’t exist.

Cllr Woods said: “This report provides independent evidence of what we already knew – that paramilitaries continue to operate within our communities and across Northern Ireland.

“The findings of this IRC report should call time on paramilitary deniers.

“Furthermore, the report highlights that paramilitary activity and social deprivation are related.

“Families and individuals living in areas blighted by economic deprivation must see an uplift in opportunities afforded to them.

“Otherwise, paramilitaries will capitalise on their difficulties and attempt to draw them into criminality.”

Cllr Woods continued: “This report identifies the Stormont stalemate as hampering the development of protocols around dealing with representatives of paramilitary groups.

“This piece of work is vital – Council and other public bodies must be empowered to better manage engagement with individuals who could be described as brigadiers at night and community workers during the day.”


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