Ireland

The family of Aidan McAnespie, shot dead by a British soldier after he passed through a checkpoint on the Monaghan/Tyrone border between the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of British-occupied Northern Ireland 20 years ago on his way to a football match, say a new report into his death heralds another phase in their campaign for the truth.
It started out as a good day for justice and rapidly became a good day for democracy too.
The six anti-war activists who occupied arms manufacturer Raytheon’s offices in Derry and destroyed its computers — part of the Raytheon 9 who took part in the action — have been acquitted by a jury in Belfast on June 11.
There is a trial currently taking place in Belfast that seems to explain plainly how nothing makes any sense.
The Fianna Fail party of current Taoiseach (prime minister) Bertie Ahern won a resounding victory in the May 24 elections with 41% of the vote. FF, which has held power for 10 years, fell five seats short of an outright majority. Ahern will likely form a centre-right coalition with the right-wing Progressive Democrats (PD) and independents, although there are also reports of contact with the Greens about forming a coalition. There is a June 14 deadline for the formation of the incoming government.
Midnight on March 26 is the deadline for a power-sharing executive to be formed from the newly elected Northern Ireland Assembly so that devolution of power from Britain to the Belfast-based assembly can proceed. In the Stormont assembly elections, held on March 7, Ian Paisley’s ultra-loyalist Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won 36 of the assembly’s 108 seats and Sinn Fein won 28. The traditionally dominant Ulster Unionist Party won only 18 seats and the Social Democratic Labour Party won 16. Voter turnout was approximately 63%, out of a total population of 1.7 million.
At an extraordinary Ard Fheis (congress) of Sinn Fein held in Dublin on January 28, delegates voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), long known for its discriminatory and violent practices towards the Irish republican movement and Northern Ireland Catholics. About 90% of the 982 delegates at the congress accepted the motion put forward by Sinn Fein’s Ard Chomhairle (national executive), paving the way for a devolution of power to the Northern Ireland Assembly as outlined in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

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