Varadkar Calls On Mary Lou To Disband Provisional Council

Leo Varadkar - Credit: Liam McBurney-PA-Getty Images.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has called on the Sinn Féin leader to publicly state if her party has cut links with the IRA Provisional Army Council.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris told today’s Garda training ceremony that he agrees with a 2015 PSNI-MI5 assessment that Sinn Féin and the IRA are overseen by a Provisional Army Council.

A report commissioned by the British government on the status of Irish terrorist groups, stated the Provisional Army Council still existed. It also stated the Provisional Army Council still oversees the IRA and Sinn Féin.

Commissioner Harris told those gathered today… “In national security matters and matters around the State, it is my obligation to report to the government as you would expect me to do.

“Also, we have been contributing to the IRC (Independent Reporting Commission) reporting on the status of various paramilitary groups and we would hold with their opinion on these matters.

He added: “I am also aware of the PSNI and the British security services assessment and we do not differ from that view.”

Following those comments today, Leo Varadkar called on Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald to “sever” links between her party and the Provisional IRA.

He tweeted: “Why doesn’t McDonald disband the Army Council and the PIRA or if she cannot, repudiate them and sever all links and do so publicly and unequivocally?”