Interesting statement in from Peter Robinson over the PSNI’s comments about the murder of Kevin McGuigan;
Last week I indicated that the Police Service of Northern Ireland must be free to fully investigate the murder of Kevin McGuigan without regard to any potential political consequences.
I have had an initial discussion with the Chief Constable who has indicated the direction of travel of his investigation as it relates to the involvement of Provisional IRA members. The PSNI has asked for all those with information to come forward to assist the investigation.
The Chief Constable and his officers must be allowed the time to continue their investigations. They must be given every support, particularly from within the Republican community, to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
As I indicated in my press briefing last week there can be no place for terror and murderous activity on our streets and Republicans cannot be in the Executive in circumstances where this murder was the work of the Provisional IRA.
Before the return of the Assembly from recess we will seek a further update from the Chief Constable to establish his conclusion regarding those responsible and the role of those in Republican movement who are associated with Sinn Fein.
The basis upon which the DUP entered government with Republicans was a commitment to exclusively peaceful and democratic means through support for the police, the courts and the rule of law as well as the dismantling of the structures of their terrorist organisation. That remains the basis upon which parties serve in the Executive.
To ensure that dealing with this issue is pursued in a manner which attracts the widest possible consensus we will have discussions with other parties about tabling the necessary exclusion motion in the Assembly and asking the Secretary of State to intervene in circumstances where the evidence points to the IRA being involved.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs