IMC report may prove costly for republicans

by Democrat reporter

FALLOUT FROM the recent publication of the International Monitoring Commission (IMC) report continues with republicans vowing to fight financial sanctions which could cost Sinn Féin up to £120,000.

The report claimed that the Provisonals had breached their ceasefire commitments on a number of occassions, most visably with the alleged attempted kidnapping of dissident Belfast republican, Bobby Tohill from Kelly's Cellars earlier this year.

Republicans have angrily hit back at IMC accusations that senior members of Sinn Féin's Ard Comhairle are also leading members of the IRA.

The financial sanctions will come as a blow to the party as it gears up to fight European elections in both jurisdictions in Ireland on June 10.

A meeting was held between Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair this week. Meanwhile, the Welt Belfast-based Anderstown News has called for a campaign to raise any money docked from Sinn Féin. In it's editorial it stated:

“Surely, it's not beyond us all to go out there and, through dint of hard work, raise the £120,000 which is being taken from Sinn Féin in order to stymie their political development.”

Meanwhile, police in the North have met with the 'political representatives' of the Ulster Defence Association, blamed by the IMC for six murders since last year.

An assistant chief constable and five district commanders met the Ulster Political Research Group in Newtonabbey in the third week of April.

The IMC report notes:

“Loyalist groups are now responsible for markedly higher levels of violence than republicans: about three quarters of the murders, nearly twice as many shootings, and over twice as many assaults since 1 January 2003.”

The IMC has warned that loyalists paramilitary leaders can “expect to receive direct communications from us” though it is as yet unclear how sanctions will be delivered against them.

The UVF-linked Progressive Unionist Party has been issued with sanctions against its sole Assembly representative, East Belfast MLA, David Ervine.

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This document was last modified by David Granville on 2004-05-26 09:46:14.
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