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Ireland Garda Commissioner says IRA army council still oversees Sinn Féin

22:20  21 february  2020
22:20  21 february  2020 Source:   independent.ie

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Garda Commissioner Drew Harris © Artur Widak/NurPhoto Garda Commissioner Drew Harris

THE Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said that an IRA Provisional Army Council (PAC) still oversees Sinn Féin. Mr Harris has agreed with a PSNI assessment that a scaled down military structure still exists and that it is involved in the running of Mary Lou McDonald’s party. A 2015 report by the PSNI and intelligence agency MI5, commissioned by the British government, found that the IRA still had a “Provisional Army Council”.

It said that Provisional IRA members believe that the PAC “overseas both PIRA and Sinn Féin with an overarching strategy. “We judge this strategy has a wholly political focus” and that the PAC and PIRA were committed to the peace process. It also said that some PIRA members are involved in the storage of remaining weaponry. The PSNI told the Irish Times that it’s assessment has not changed.

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DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 20: Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald arrives for the reconvening of the 33rd Dail Eireann following the recent Irish Election on February 20, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Irish election saw a surge for Sinn Fein and a fall in seats for Fine Gael, led by Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fail, led by Micheal Martin. Varadkar is expected to officially resign as Taoiseach today and continue the position in a caretaker role until a new Taoiseach is appointed. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 20: Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald arrives for the reconvening of the 33rd Dail Eireann following the recent Irish Election on February 20, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. The Irish election saw a surge for Sinn Fein and a fall in seats for Fine Gael, led by Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fail, led by Micheal Martin. Varadkar is expected to officially resign as Taoiseach today and continue the position in a caretaker role until a new Taoiseach is appointed. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) Sinn Féin rejects the analysis by the PSNI. Ms McDonald has repeatedly insisted that there are no shadowy figures overseeing the party saying: “nobody's pulling my strings”. Mr Harris this afternoon said: “I am aware of the PSNI and British security service’s assessment and we do not differ from that view.”

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There will be no vote to elect a Taoiseach when Dail meets again .
There will not be a vote to decide the next Taoiseach when the Dail meets again next week, it has been announced. Sinn Fein Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that the Dail Business Committee recommended there will be no vote to decide the next Taoiseach on Thursday, March 5, speaking before a government formation meeting with the Social Democrats.

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