27/06/2002

IRA "still very much alive" warns Wilson

An east Belfast anti-agreement assembly member has said the IRA is still very much alive.

Sammy Wilson of the Democratic Unionist Party said due to the fact that hundreds of people have been warned after their details were stolen from a top security office in Castlereagh police station proves the organisation is still very much active.

The police have confirmed that politicians, judges, forensic scientists, police and loyalists have been informed that their details were discovered by police in computer files seized during police raids earlier this year.

DUP assembly member Sammy Wilson said: “On the balance of probability the information that has come to date, the police have said the Castlereagh break in was the work of the IRA.”

Mr Wilson said the news created problems for both the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the pro-Agreement parties.

“The SDLP and UUP both admitted Sinn Féin to the peace process on the basis of their commitment to peaceful means. This blows the lid off that and proves their activity.”

He added that due to the “security lapse” at Castlereagh the cost of police officers applying for relocation was likely to run into millions of pounds.

“The complacency about security in the face of concerted assaults by the IRA on civilians in interface areas and their threat to police once again confirms that their war is not over but has simply taken a new form.”

Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin said he would be "disappointed" if the IRA was gathering intelligence on potential targets.

He added: “The production and timing is clearly linked to the concerted efforts of the spy masters and spooks within the British system who are determined to undermine the peace process and to further confuse unionist opinion through the drip feeding of unsubstantiated allegations.”

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the IRA was still on ceasefire and remain committed to the peace process.

(AMcE)


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