04/11/2004

IRA still recruiting claims IMC report

The IRA continues to recruit and gather intelligence despite being on ceasefire, the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) has claimed.

In its third report released publicly on Thursday, the IMC, which monitors paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland, claimed the IRA was still recruiting in small numbers and that the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) remained heavily involved in crime.

The IMC report, which was handed over to the British and Irish Governments last week, is likely to be studied closely by the two main unionist parties however republicans have said they have no interest in the report as they view the IMC to have no credibility.

Commenting on the report, Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew said: "The IMC is a tool of the anti-Agreement securocrats. It sources its reports in information from the Special Branch, MI5 and British military intelligence."

The four IMC commissioners - Lord Alderdice, John Grieve, Joe Brosnan and Richard Kerr - met in Belfast last week to finalise their report and submitted it to both Governments on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble was in Dublin yesterday for a ´stock-taking´ meeting with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

The routine exchange of views dealt with how to move the process forward seven weeks after Leeds Castle and break the deadlock that currently exists.

(MB/SP)

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