RealNews

Ulster: rule by gun and baseball bat

A picture of “disturbingly high” levels of paramilitary violence, with republicans and loyalists ruling by the gun and baseball bat, was painted yesterday by the Independent Monitoring Commission. No paramilitary group escaped censure from the four-member body, which warned that beatings and shootings had increased since the 1998 Good Friday agreement, a deal meant to mark a new dawn in Northern Ireland. Republicans and loyalists alike are accused of raising millions of pounds through smuggling, protection rackets, drugs and robbery. The commission makes clear that Northern Ireland has, for the moment, turned its back on the level of violence seen during the “Troubles” when 100 people on average were killed a year between 1969 and 1994. But the commission says that other paramilitary violence is on the increase, “with loyalists outstripping republicans”. Full Story

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