Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 13:00 UK

IMC reports on IRA 'army council'

IRA mural in Belfast
The IMC report is expected to be made public later this week

The body that monitors paramilitary groups has handed the British and Irish goverments its report on whether the IRA's ruling army council still exists.

The Independent Monitoring Commission report will become public on Wednesday.

The DUP has said the IRA's ruling Army Council must cease to exist before policing and justice powers can be devolved to the Stormont Assembly.

In its May report, the IMC said the IRA had almost completed the transformation from a paramilitary organisation.

The British and Irish governments asked for further clarification - they want to know if the IRA's leadership structures are still functioning.

Peter Robinson, the DUP leader and first minister, met the IMC last week and said the very existence of the Army Council was a threat.

Home Affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney said the report was expected to say the IRA Army Council had not disbanded - but would also say that it no longer serves any military purpose.

"That may satisfy the two governments - but the key question is, will it be good enough for the DUP?" he said.



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