In a bid to deprive Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party of yet another Excuse for refusing to join in a coalition government, Gerry Adams’s Sinn Fein has voted to Support its Local Peelers ;} ~
DUBLIN (Reuters) - London and Dublin will push this week to revive power-sharing between Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants after Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein reversed decades of opposition to the province’s law and order system.
Sinn Fein’s mostly Catholic membership voted on Sunday to back a policing and justice system in Northern Ireland that it has long viewed as biased in favour of the majority Protestants.
The landmark vote removed a key obstacle to the restoration of a Belfast-based regional power-sharing government by a March 26 deadline set by the British and Irish governments.
…The IRA killed nearly 300 police officers during the conflict and was responsible for nearly half the 3,600 deaths in its struggle to unite the northern province with Ireland.
While London and Dublin may yet achieve their goal of restoring a regional government in time for Blair’s departure from office and an Irish election, both later this year, the DUP is still far from being on board.
Party leader Ian Paisley has yet to overcome years of vociferous opposition to Irish nationalists on his own part* and signs of serious resistance from hardliners within his party.
“Dr. Paisley’s authority and political direction is under assault within the DUP,” the Irish Times said in an editorial.
However, it noted he had said repeatedly he would “not be found wanting” if Sinn Fein moved to support the police.
[*Let us pray that Dr. Paisley finds the strength to Overcome at least his Own vociferousness :>. ~ the guestblogger]
“Yesterday we did see a piece of history being made,” political analyst Harry McGee wrote in the Irish Examiner.
“With it came an acceptance that it was all over as far as the IRA was concerned, bar the shouting, of course. And be assured, with Ian Paisley and the DUP involved, there will be plenty of that over the next few months.”