Newshound spotted this CNN article in which former deputy director of the CIA, Richard Kerr, now a member of the Independent Monitoring Commission, warns of the activities of still-violent republican paramilitary groups. The figures quoted are worth comparing with those of Judith Gillespie, PSNI deputy chief constable. The article also quotes Paul Bew on something which may be contributing to the internal pressure and the external “crisis”
“The Good Friday agreement is not delivering on rapid progress towards Irish unity, which many people in Sinn Fein expected it would do, and many of their voters expected it would do,” Bew added. “It was quite commonly said within that community that 2016, the 100th anniversary of the Easter rising of 1916, would be the date for Irish unity.”
And the final point in the article
Sinn Fein is also locked in a bitter dispute with its main partner in the power-sharing executive, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), over whether London should grant Northern Ireland more authority over the police, the criminal justice system and prisons.
The DUP is blocking efforts to transfer those powers to Belfast, Bew said. “The great fear of the unionist right is a republican campaign of violence on the streets while you have republicans also in government exercising power in sensitive areas such as policing and justice,” he added.
But Bew, a member of the British House of Lords, said that while the dispute has symbolic importance, it does not matter so much in practical terms because Northern Ireland already has some control over policing at a local level, and the British maintain a large intelligence operation in Northern Ireland.
That would be a reference to MI5..