On caution.. and media reports

I noted that the general tone of the Independent Monitoring Commission’s report was one of caution. And at a press conference in Dublin this afternoon members of the IMC emphasised that cautious tone. Lord Alderice, on the point that some media reports of the IMC’s 60-page dossier had said that the IRA’s criminal activity had stopped – “That is not what we have said.” Perhaps the BBC.. and RTÉ.. should reconsider the focus of their reports?From the Press Association report

IMC member Dick Kerr said that the IRA`s July 28 pledge to disarm was potentially very significant but it was too early to make an informed assessment on whether it would become a purely political body by next year.

He told a Dublin news conference: “It`s too early to make more than a limited assessment although the initial signs are encouraging.

“We`re talking about a very limited amount of time and that time has not allowed us to reflect on the whole range of activities. ”

IMC member and former Northern Ireland Assembly speaker Lord Alderdice cautioned against the term “clean bill of health” being used and said that activities like exiling were still being carried out.

“I`ve cautioned people against the use of the term `clean bill of health`,” he said. “I`m a doctor and I genuinely think it is ill-advised to give anybody a clean bill of health because they sometimes go straight out the door and collapse on you.

“We will monitor things and give the evidence as we see it and others must then make their judgment on what that means for the future.”

On the issue of exiling, Lord Alderdice said: “There is not evidence that this has been set aside.”

He said that some media reports of the IMC`s 60-page dossier had said that the IRA`s criminal activity had stopped.

“That is not what we have said,” he added.