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Monday, 3 March 2014

Northern Crisis Averted Crisis

A looming crisis with potential to destabilise the North's power sharing executive has been averted after a late intervention by British Prime Minister David Cameron. The North's First Minister, Peter Robinson, threatened to resign from the Executive today if the London government failed to take action to resolve what the unionist parties alleged was a promise of immunity from prosecution for former members of the IRA.

The IRA people at the centre of the dispute were at one time on the run from British authorities. In the North's political and media discourse the people are known as OTRs (on the runs). Their legal status was brought into sharp focus by the recent acquittal of Donegal man John Downey who had initially been charged with causing the deaths of four soldiers in a bomb attack in London's Hyde Park in 1982.

A satisfactory mechanism for addressing the North's violent political past has so far eluded British, Irish and US politicians and diplomats.

The Dublin Monaghan bombings of May 1974 are events that are shrouded in secrecy with the British Government having faced accusations that its operatives were involved and that the government has subsequently been denying the Irish Government access to documentation.

17 May 1974. Bomb damage in Dublin Talbot Street

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