Northern Ireland is stable. That's the message from The Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), the all-island panel set up to monitor the rival paramilitary groups in the North. Their welcome announcement follows the decision to shut the panel down because the Northern Assembly is working.
The IMC published its latest report this week, its twenty fifth since 2004, and in the process it declared that it would be the last. It's final warning stated that bombings by IRA dissident groups have doubled in recent months.
Owen Paterson, the new Northern Ireland secretary, told the press that the new report reaffirms that the IRA remains committed to peace. Paterson added the IMC have been asked to produce a final report on lessons learned, after which time their offices in Dublin and Belfast will be closed.
“Although there remain those who have rejected peace and politics and who actively work to undermine it, Northern Ireland has made the transition to stable, local democracy and the job of the commission is nearing completion,’’ Paterson added.
In recent years the IMC has praised IRA chiefs for its leadership in preventing riots, robberies, and ambushes in favor of Sinn Fein’s nonviolent political objectives.