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Friday, 27 September 2013

Crisis in the North ... Again

The North’s Power Sharing Executive is said to once more be in crisis. The allegation this time round has come from Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly. Speaking on a Belfast radio programme broadcast on Wednesday, the 30th anniversary of the Maze/Long Kesh escape during which a prison officer was shot in the head allegedly by Mr Kelly, the current parliamentarian accused the DUP of bringing matters to the verge of collapse.

Siren calls have been made in the past from the North’s politicians but this time it comes against a background of considerable unease and disquiet over a range of polarizing issues. In a bid to try and lance the boil that continues to fester the US diplomat Richard Haass is engaged in talks with many of the North’s politicians and community leaders.

History was made in 2007 when the Gerry Adams led Sinn Fein and the DUP, led by Ian Paisley, agreed to enter into an executive tasked with administering the North’s internal political affairs. Many people were surprised that both men, long viewed as implacable opponents enemies, could eventually reach agreement.

Ian Paisley is a former leader of Ulster Resistance while Gerry Adams served as a leading member of the Provisional IRA.

1978 Ian Paisley at prayer meeting in Dublin's Mansion House

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