A LEADING Sinn Féin politician has said there needs to be greater scrutiny of British involvement in dissident republican organisations in the North of Ireland.
Both MI5 and British police forces have previously admitted that there are agents embedded in republican organisations in the North of Ireland to spy on illegal or dangerous activity.
The North's Minister for Education John O'Dowd accused dissidents and some of those within the security services of being “conflict junkies”.
“I think, now, there is a responsibility for us to challenge the security services to ensure their staff and their agents are not operating these organisations,” he said, speaking to the BBC.
“There is a common cause between conflict junkies, whether they be under the banner of republicanism or in MI5.”
While Mr O’Dowd has criticised MI5’s covert involvement in republican organisations, senior police officers have in the past supported it.
“Intelligence is critical for every single facet of policing,” said Assistant Chief Constable William Kerr.
Mr O’Dowd originally spoke out about the issue last month, when a device exploded in Lurgan, near to his constituency office.
Police were lured to a decoy device while a second bomb was placed in a residential area.
While there were no casualties, some families had to be moved from their homes.