I have received the fourth substantive report from the Independent Reporting Commission (IRC).
The IRC emanated from the Fresh Start Agreement of November 2015. That agreement set out the Northern Ireland Executive’s commitments around tackling paramilitary activity and associated criminality, and led to a programme of work to deliver a Northern Ireland Executive action plan containing 43 recommendations.
The New Decade, New Approach Agreement, in January 2020, included a commitment to ongoing work to tackle paramilitarism and, earlier this year, it was agreed that a second phase of the programme of work to tackle paramilitary activity would run until March 2024.
This fourth substantive report builds on the work already undertaken by the Commissioners and highlights the ongoing challenge of paramilitarism, and reminds us of the important work still to be done.
I would like to thank the commissioners for their work, particularly in delivering this year’s report in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.