Hay: Island is awash with criminality

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Willie Hay says paramilitary activity needs to be addressed once and for all remarking that the whole island has been awash with paramilitary-linked criminality for years.

Lord Hay of Ballyore was addressing fellow Lords in the upper house in Westminster during a debate on recent political developments.

“The island of Ireland is awash with criminality which has been going on for many years - both in the north and in the south,” he said.

“It is almost 20 years since the signing of the Good Friday agreement, yet we still have paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland that are still active, still killing and still involved in criminal activity,” he added.

Lord Hay indicated that he didn’t think a revived Independent Monitoring Commission would help in the current crisis.

“I think we are in a different place and at a different time for which we need a different body. My only worry is that the ideas seem to have to come from the five main political parties - regarding the format, the powers and the terms of reference that such a body might have.

“Addressing that matter would be very useful because I can see it, too, turning into a political football in Northern Ireland,” he said.