“Some of these people were accustomed..”

With contrary reports of the IMC assessment of the murder of Paul Quinn it’s worthwhile looking at the actual 18th Independent Monitoring Commission’s Report Adds Another report here And NI Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, “welcomes latest assessment by IMC”

4.2 Within these constraints, our assessment of the incident is as follows:
– We think that the attack on Paul Quinn was planned and carried out by local people and that it arose from local disputes. Whatever the immediate reason for the killing certain aspects of these disputes go back some time and were not unconnected with continuing illegal activity;
A number of people were involved in the incident although they did not all necessarily play a part in the actual killing. Amongst those involved were people who had in various ways been associated with the PIRA at a local level, including as members of the organisation. Some of these people were accustomed over a substantial period of time to exercising considerable local influence, collectively and individually. This would have led such people to expect what they would consider as appropriate respect from others and to being able to undertake their activities –including criminal ones – without interference; they would find it very difficult to accept any waning in this influence and respect; [added emphasis]
– The killing was clearly contrary to the instructions and strategy of the leadership of PIRA. It was also contrary to the interests of PIRA and to those of Sinn Féin. We are aware of no evidence linking the leadership of PIRA to the incident. In public statements and in debates in the Dáil and the Northern Ireland Assembly senior members of Sinn Féin have condemned the killing and have called on people to give any information they have to AGS and the PSNI.

The IMC report goes on to say

4.3 In Section 3 above we do not attribute the killing to PIRA. This is for several reasons: the local and personal nature of its roots; the absence of indications either of organisational sanction or that it was in the interests of PIRA; and because it was contrary to the declared policy which PIRA has been following for over two years. We are reinforced in this view by the subsequent public remarks to which we refer above. The fact that some local members or former members or associates of the organisation were involved in the incident does not in our view justify attributing it to PIRA. In reaching this conclusion we are applying the standards we have consistently followed in respect of all kinds of paramilitary incidents, and to which we have referred in the past.

4.4 We recognise that the involvement of local members or former members or associates of the organisation in the way we have described is bound to raise questions about the level of control exercised by the leadership of PIRA. The PIRA leadership has had some difficulties in the past in exercising authority in South Armagh. Looking more widely in Ireland North and South we do not find evidence to suggest that this recent rejection of instructions is a general problem.

4.5 We wish to express our sympathy for the family and friends of Paul Quinn and our admiration for the courage they have shown in the face of this tragedy. We also applaud the way in which they have publicly opposed any suggestion of retaliation and have called on people to give any information to the police so that due process may be followed and justice may be done.

And in a footnote to the report

9 Apart from our own wish not to say anything which might result in guilty people escaping justice, we are formally required not to act in a prejudicial way. Article 13 of the International Agreement under which we are established says that “The Commission shall not do anything in carrying out its functions which might…have a prejudicial effect on any proceedings which have, or are likely to be, commenced in a court of law.” The same Article also obliges us to avoid saying anything which might “put at risk the safety or life of any person”.