“The latest IMC report is a stern reminder that there are still a handful of individuals in Northern Ireland who do not want to see politics work. They do not support the peaceful and democratic way forward, and their actions are an attempt to disrupt the extraordinary efforts being made to transform lives and society. We must not allow them to turn the clock back,” said Neal.
In my opinion, the increased threat posed by the dissidents only reinforces the need for swift action on the devolution of policing and justice powers. I agree with the assessment of the IMC that transfer of powers would ‘be a platform for co-operation against those trying to undermine the peace process.’ I join my colleagues in the British and Irish governments urging the political parties to complete the final stage of the Good Friday Agreement as soon as possible,” the Massachusetts Democrat added.
And he continued: “These small and dangerous organizations may try to destabilize society, but they will not deter the will of the people in Northern Ireland who seek a more peaceful and prosperous future. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during her recent visit, the dissidents are ‘stranded on the wrong side of history.’ And they certainly have no support whatsoever in the United States of America.”
Neal said that while the report of the IMC may paint a grim picture, it did provide an answer on how to deal with the dissident threat.
“I hope action is taken on their recommendation so the devolution of policing and justice powers can happen without further delay,” he said.
Rep. Neal led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Belfast in July for meetings with representatives of the power-sharing government and community groups.