“In our view, Sinn Fein must bear its share of responsibility for the incidents,” said the commission.
“Some of its senior members, who are also members of PIRA (Provisional IRA), were involved in sanctioning the series of robberies.”
“Although we note Sinn Fein has said it is opposed to criminality of any kind, it appears at times to have its own definition of what constitutes a crime.”
The commission said it would have recommended the party’s exclusion from office if the assembly was still sitting.
In the absence of devolution, Secretary of State Paul Murphy should consider imposing financial penalties, it said.
It does not specify exactly what those measures should be.
N.B. Further posts fisking the IMC report will undoubtedly follow.
The concluding paragraph of the IMC report is worth noting –
The leadership and rank and file of Sinn Féin need to make the choice between continued association with and support for PIRA criminality and the path of an exclusively democratic political party. The real issue is not the expression of condemnation through the imposition of particular penalties. It is that the ending of all illegal activity by PIRA and indeed by all paramilitary groups is fully and permanently addressed. Only in that way can trust be restored and the objective set us in Article 3 – which we believe all law abiding people share – thereby advanced. Until this happens it is hard to see how further useful progress can be made.
Article 3 of the International Agreement says:
“The objective of the Commission is to carry out [its functions] with a view to promoting the transition to a peaceful society and stable and inclusive devolved government in Northern Ireland”.