About the IRC

The Independent Reporting Commission (IRC) is one of the measures set out in Section A of the Fresh Start Agreement to bring an end to paramilitary activity and to tackle organised crime in Northern Ireland. The introduction to the Agreement set out its overall vision as follows:

Building on the political Agreements reached in the past, the progress made to date – and to ensure it continues – we reiterate the primacy and centrality of peace and the political process to the continued transformation of our society, through democracy, inclusion, reconciliation, equality of opportunity for all and the absence of violence.

If you would like to read the Fresh start Agreement, the International Treaty between the UK and Ireland establishing the IRC, the founding legislation, or our Terms of Reference then go to our Key Documents page.

The IRC has been established jointly by the UK Government and the Government of Ireland. There are four Commissioners:  John McBurney and Monica McWilliams, who were nominated by the Northern Ireland Executive, Tim O’Connor, who was nominated by the Government of Ireland, and Mitchell Reiss, who was nominated by the UK Government. 

The IRC’s objective is to carry out its functions with a view to supporting long term peace and stability in society and stable and inclusive devolved Government in Northern Ireland, and promoting progress towards ending paramilitary activity connected with Northern Ireland. 

The IRC will consult with a wide range of stakeholders including statutory agencies, law enforcement and civic society and will report on progress towards ending paramilitary activity connected with Northern Ireland and on the implementation of relevant measures of the UK Government, the Government of Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Executive. 

In its reports the IRC may make recommendations to the Northern Ireland executive to inform future Programme for Government priorities and commitments through to 2021. The Terms of Reference for the IRC are set out on our Key Documents page.

The IRC reports will be available on the Publications page of this website.