On alleged IRA criminality, Dr Paisley said, “The multi-million pound empire has to be given up practically and openly. Those involved in the £300 million [ €445 million] empire must be handed over to the police. The ill-gotten gains of crime will be abandoned and law enforcement agencies will be supported in the seizure of these illegal gains.” He also called for the disbandment of the IRA.
“Republicans like all other citizens must submit themselves to the rule of law by the police and courts. That means that the organisation of the IRA must be stood down and abandoned,” he said.
Dr Paisley, who with senior party colleagues also met the Independent Monitoring Commission yesterday to discuss IRA activity, further demanded in the Assembly that those IRA members who refused to abandon criminality should be handed over for prosecution by the PSNI.
“Those republican activists who will not give up crime and are integral to the republican movement in the past must be handed over to the police with available evidence. There are no get out of jail free cards to be handed out to the IRA or any other terrorist organisation,” he said.
Although, none of this tagged as pre-conditions, both major parties seem to stacking up the reasons they might cite if they decide to walk away from a deal.
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