IMC to be stepped down…

I remember the IMC mostly for way they used to kindly make their online reports available to us the night before the official press launch. It was born in controversy after the IRA once more came up short for David Trimble in October 2003. At first, it was attacked by both Sinn Fein (its primary object of scrutiny in the early days at least) and the DUP.

Much of the controversy revolved around the fact that in compiling its reports, it used intelligence reports from the PSNI, Garda Siochana and the various military intelligence agencies on both sides of the border. However as time went on (and presumably compliance levels increased) it’s reports began to be used as proof of improving behaviour.

Today, after delivering its twenty fifth report, it will do one last report on lessons learnt over the last six years before bowing out of the history of the Peace Process.

  • “However as time went on ..”

    it stopped using the term ‘culture of lawfulness’. I wonder why. Perhaps its Dublin and Belfast staff team could explain.

  • joeCanuck

    I’m not sure that they actually performed any useful service since they were just parroting what they were told by the “securocrats”.
    Yet, if they did give comfort to some people that things were improving, perhaps that was useful enough.

  • Comrade Stalin

    They’re a total waste of space. In their previous report they suggested overlooking the UVF shooting someone in broad daylight, now they’re recommending that the government monitor their ceasefire because they might be buying more guns.

  • A.N.Other

    They ended up being nothing more than a source of oxygen for the ragbag of dissident groups; whose hardware often comprised of nothing more than some altered pillow cases and a box of fireworks.

  • “Much of the controversy revolved around the fact that in compiling its reports, it used intelligence reports from the PSNI, Garda Siochana and the various military intelligence agencies on both sides of the border.”

    I think that is being generous. The problem with the IMC was that their methodology (if anyone ever bothered to read their reports in detail) was basically to canvas for opinions from as many stakeholders as they could find (churches, dogs in the street etc) and the results were issued as official reports (they weren’t simply intelligence digests). In effect, it generally submitted SF and/or the IRA to a popularity contest where there was only going to be one winner (as Mick points out, loyalists tended to not feature for some reason).
    That this was represented as some form of discrete intelligence-based analysis by the media was a re-curring black mark against any remote semblance of balanced reporting in NI (did anyone ever properly dismiss the reports?). The most damaging thing was when there was actual progress on the likes of decommissioning there was no way to differentiate those reports from the more typical nonsense it issued. The public saw a lot of it as peace-processing and couldn’t separate the wheat from the chaff.

  • “as Mick points out, loyalists tended to not feature”

    Where does he say that, John?

  • “At first, it was attacked by both Sinn Fein (its primary object of scrutiny in the early days at least)…”

    First paragraph, hard to miss.

  • Indeed. Added to that the fact dissidents are using 1980s materials and expertise for bomb making and there is obviously a new dimension that the policing & justice minister must urgently address under his remit before tragedy strikes.

    I wait with baited breath…

  • obviously ‘early days at least’ is difficult to spot though.

  • D

    so the international monitoring commission feels that loyalists still on the streets with guns doesn’t require monitoring? I’m confused! Y are guns in the IRAs hands so bad and guns in loyalists hands acceptable. One more reason to leave that god awful place