Looks like the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s report into organised crime may have handed the DUP a licence to hold up any deal for as long as they deem it politically expedient. Sammy Wilson highlights four clauses he finds worthy of note:
In paragraph 12 it states that all paramilitary groups are still heavily involved in organised crime and in paragraph 21 states that paramilitary groups from both sides of the community continue to exercise control over those communities, negatively reflected in the reporting of crime in these areas.
In paragraph 104 the report claims that the Provisional IRA are still extorting money from construction sites and the committee heard of six-figure sums being paid to the PIRA.
Paragraph 146 reports that the efforts in tackling criminality is made extremely difficult when Sinn Fein continues to refuse to support the police and discourages its supporters to contact or assist the PSNI in any way.
Importantly the report also claims, in paragraph 177, that political progress is being made very difficult as long as there continues to be an association between some political parties and those involved in organised crime.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty