Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said today it is time for all armed groups to leave the stage for good.

He was speaking after an announcement today by loyalist paramilitary groups that they would support the rule of law.

Raymond McCartney said: “What people wanted to hear this morning was that these groups are leaving the stage rather than the same recycled statement of intent to end criminality.

“There is no place for any armed groups in our society in 2018, 20 years on from the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

“The public want an end to their ongoing recruitment, their procurement of weapons and an end to their existence.

“In the last year alone members of these groups have been involved in murder, drug dealing, extortion and intimidation, including racist attacks.

“We need to see leadership from political unionism to bring an end to groups like these rather than the often selective condemnation of their activities while engaging with them in cosy electoral pacts.”

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