In his first substantial interview as Secretary of State, Paul Murphy tells Chris Thornton that we are at the stage when paramilitaries must be taken out of political life:
“We’ve seen no end to the violence amongst paramilitary groups. I mean, this crucifixion (of 23-year-old Harry McCartan in Dunmurry) is such an obvious example of savagery and brutality that everybody must see this as being something which really has now to stop. That of course was on the loyalist side. However, on both sides you’ve come to that point where paramilitary activity has to stop.
“If there is going to be democratic devolved government here that has to be done on the same basis as anywhere else in Ireland or the United Kingdom. And I think we have come to that point now. Time in a sense has run out.”