Membership of commission to combat paramilitary activity announced

The Independent Reporting Commission was set up on September 13th

Membership of commission to combat paramilitary activity announced

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan (left) shakes hands with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire at Iveagh House in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

A former secretary-general to the president has been appointed to the Independent Reporting Commission (IRC).

Tim O'Connor is one of four commissioners to be appointed.

The body is being established by the Irish and UK Governments to promote progress towards ending paramilitary activity connected with Northern Ireland.

A treaty to establish the IRC was signed between the two governments in Dublin on September 13th.

Mr O'Connor is a also a former Irish diplomat who was involved in the negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement.

He also served as the inaugural joint secretary to the North South Ministerial Council in Armagh - as well as a Consul General of Ireland in New York.

The other appointees are: Mr Mitchell Reiss, Professor Monica McWilliams and Mr John McBurney.

The Commission will meet for the first time in January.

Following the announcement, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said: "All four commissioners have a wealth of expertise and are well equipped to deal with the diverse issues relevant to the commission's work.

"Today's announcement is an important step forward in establishing the commission which will have a crucial role in our collective work to deal with the legacy of paramilitarism in society.

"We are all committed to working together in order to help and support communities to move forward with confidence and contribute to a truly reconciled Northern Ireland."

Earlier today Minister Flanagan met with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, in Belfast.