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Independent Reporting Commission. (2020) Independent Reporting Commission: third report. Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality.

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The IRC’s functions are to

  • report annually on progress towards ending continuing paramilitary activity connected with Northern Ireland (or on such further occasions as required);
  • report on the implementation of the relevant measures of the three administrations – critical here is the Northern Ireland Executive’s Strategy to tackle paramilitary activity and associated criminality; and
  • consult the UK Government and relevant law enforcement agencies, the Irish Government and relevant law enforcement agencies and, in Northern Ireland, the Executive, PSNI, statutory agencies, local councils, communities and civic society organisations.” 

P.8 Track Two of our Twin Track Approach relates to the tackling of the underlying systemic socio-economic issues prevailing in communities in which the paramilitaries operate. These include educational under-attainment, adverse childhood experiences, unemployment, poverty, lack of investment, mental health issues and drugs. Not all paramilitary activity is rooted in socio-economic deprivation, but in our view it is a critical factor in that it serves as a fuel and a driver of paramilitarism. 

P.18 And then there are those who use paramilitarism as cover for criminality –assaults, extortion, drugs, and other crimes including threats to political representatives and journalists. The paramilitary ‘cloak’ allows them to conduct these activities under a quasi-political guise in the context of Northern Ireland and its history. These paramilitary members are the ones most likely (though not exclusively) to be involved in coercive control of communities and in enticing vulnerable young people into their ranks, often as support for their criminal enterprises.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
17 November 2020
122 p.
Department of Justice and Equality
Corporate Creators
Independent Reporting Commission
Place of Publication
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