Friday, October 13, 2006

Politics: Northern Ireland: St Andrew's Agreement today may lead to shared govt, re-opened Stormont

Gingerly we mention the developments of the day taking place in St Andrew's, Scotland, toward finding a way forward in Northern Ireland. Alan Cowell, "London and Dublin Offer N. Ireland a Compromise" (Oct14,2k6) New York Times:

After three days of closed-door negotiations, Britain and Ireland on Friday offered a compromise formula to restore Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government by next March, allowing for an election or referendum to endorse the deal.
Europe > Northern Ireland
While the package was not immediately embraced by the province’s fractious political parties, it gave them until Nov. 10 to hold meetings among their followers and then give their answer to what was promptly named the St. Andrews Agreement. But it is not certain that an agreement sponsored by London and Dublin will be enough to survive the tripwires of Northern Ireland’s fissured politics.

The main parties, the Roman Catholic Sinn Fein and the Protestant Democratic Unionist Party, promised to respond by Nov. 10. If they consent, their action will begin a choreographed sequence of events to permit the power-sharing government set up under the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 to be restored. It was suspended four years ago in a dispute over alleged espionage by the Irish Republican Army.

Just before the St Andrew's meeting Dr Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh of the Roman Catholic Church and Dr Ian Paisley, Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church, leading voices in Northern Ireland, met to discuss social, economic, and political concerns of the still-British society. refWrite "Pisteutics: Religion: Leading clergy of Catholics and Protestants meet, shake hands in Northern Ireland"(Oct11,2k6) noted, quoted and commented on the event, an event which may have been something of an omen of good things to come for Northern Ireland. -- Politicarp

More Info:

Ian Paisley's Dilemma
Archbishop of Armagh and Free Presbyterian Moderator historic handshake

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