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October 14, 2006

Ahern & Blair Outline Details of Agreement

News About Ireland & The Irish

BN 10/13/06 Ahern & Blair Outline Details Of Agreement
SF 10/13/06 Adams Comments At Saint Andrews After 3 Days Of Talks
II 10/13/06 Paisley Says Yes
IT 10/13/06 Adams And Paisley Agree Progess Has Been Made
BT 10/13/06 Flatley: Just Another Wedding?


Ahern And Blair Outline Details Of Agreement At St Andrews

13/10/2006 - 18:34:31

The Irish and British governments have outlined the details
of an agreement, which could have the power sharing
executive up and running in the North by next March.

At St Andrews, Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern have put
together a proposal which will now be considered by the

All sides have to decide whether to accept or reject what's
on offer by the 10th of November.

Tony Blair says this is the way forward.

At a joint press conference he said, “Of course everyone's
had to make compromises to get what we wanted.

“But nonetheless I think it is a proper and sound basis for
doing it and it gives us the chance then to have
institutions that are up and running that are secure on a
cross-community basis where all the parties are in
government together for a shared future in Northern Ireland
and that is a tremendous gain.”

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern agrees that the proposed deal is a
sound basis for moving forward.

Alongside Mr Blair, the Taoiseach said, “I believe that we
have all of the elements that can bring satisfaction to all
of the issues.

“Although not perfect by everybody's agenda - it is a
sustainable balance that we'll try to by March make sure
that we have a working executive based on power sharing and
acceptance of policing and the rule of law.”

DUP leader Rev Ian Paisley said he will be consulting
widely with his community over the coming weeks.

He had this message for the IRA and Sinn Fein:

“You have a choice to make and the delivery to make.

“We will meet the requirements but IRA-Sinn Fein has got to
meet those requirements, but when they do we will really be
on the way to peace for our people.”

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams says the two governments'
proposals will require thoughtful consideration.

He says the agreement is about all the people of Ireland
and not just Unionists.


Gerry Adams Comments At Saint Andrews After The End Of Three Days Of Talks

Mr. Adams said:

As the start of this we in Sinn Féin said our objectives
were to defend the Good Friday Agreement and to create the
conditions to get the political institutions up and running
in the timeframe set out by the Irish and British

Today’s paper by the two governments requires the
thoughtful consideration of Sinn Féin and the other
parties. The restoration of the political institutions,
the removal of unaccountable British Ministers and the
restoration of all of the other political bodies, including
the all-Ireland bodies is an enormous prize. The common
sense and insight of all sections of society will be
required as we are all challenged by this.

This is not just about the people of the north of Ireland
or about unionists, it is about all the people of Ireland.

Sinn Féin had also argued for a peace dividend, equality
and human rights measures, legislative rights for Irish
language speakers, a fully accountable, civic policing
service and practical measures and assistance for all
victims of the conflict. And there can be no hierarchy of

We are Irish republicans. We believe in Irish unity and
the coming together of orange and green. We believe in

All of us are going to be challenged and that includes the
two governments. They cannot absolve themselves of
responsibility in all of this.

I want to thank the Taoiseach and the British Prime
Minister for their endeavours. We will remain in close
contact with them in the time ahead. We need to find ways
to put divisions behind us.

We will now consult with the rest of our party and with the
wider republican family. I want to appeal to republicans
to get this document, to study it, debate it and be part of
the efforts to resolve all of these matters.

I want to appeal to unionists to do the same thing.

There has been a lot of talk about delivery. Republicans
have delivered big time in recent years. But this is a
collective responsibility. Others must acknowledge their
responsibilities and be part of the solution.

I want to appeal to unionists to come at this in a way
which looks at the differences which we have been able to
put aside and the potential which we now have to build a
new Ireland where all of the children are treated equally.


Paisley Says Yes

DUP chief signals he is now ready to share power with Sinn

DUP leader Ian Paisley yesterday for the first time
signalled he is prepared to share power with Sinn Fein in
the North.

His historic shift dramatically paved the way for an
unprecedented deal with his traditional political enemies
as part of a roadmap to restore devolved government.

It helped set in train a chain reaction which could within
five months have the hardline Paisley operating as First
Minister, with Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness at his side as
Deputy First Minister.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony
Blair last night held out the possibility that a fully
functioning power sharing executive could be in place by
March 26.

But that can happen only if the parties are prepared to
follow a series of carefully choreographed moves on
policing and sharing power.

However, the previously unthinkable link-up between the DUP
and Sinn Fein is firmly on the cards.

Both Dr Paisley and Mr McGuinness are due to be nominated
for the respective posts as early as November 24.

Provided all parties sign up, they will take office from
March 26.

After a series of extraordinary twists at St Andrews in
Scotland, the deal suddenly became possible following three
days of intensive talks which had seemed to be heading for

The DUP leader is understood to have given clear signals to
both governments that he will not oppose the deal.

His body language, publicly and privately, has sparked
renewed hope the DUP will support it.

In a behind-the-scenes comment as the talks concluded, he
told government ministers he believed this was "a historic
day for the whole island of Ireland and the UK" and was "a
great day for democracy".

He said publicly afterwards: "We will meet the requirements
but IRA/Sinn Fein have also to meet those requirements.

"When they do, then we will really be on the way to peace
for our people and a good future for every child born in
Northern Ireland."

The deal on the table is still just a set of proposals from
both governments which the parties have yet to sign up to.

But Mr Ahern and Mr Blair believe they form the basis for a
lasting accord.

Mr Ahern said: "I believe we have all the elements needed
to bring satisfaction on all of the issues. It is not
perfect by everybody's agenda, but there is a fair and
sustainable balance to see that by March we have power-
sharing and acceptance of the rule of law."

Mr Blair said some of the parties would not be
'comfortable' sitting in government with those they had
been hostile towards.

But he said everyone had to sign up to have "full support"
for the deal.

In return for his agreement to share power, Dr Paisley will
await Sinn Fein's decision - probably at a special Ard-
Fheis - to support the police force (PSNI).

The blueprint could bring an end to the long drawn-out
process of trying to resurrect the Northern institutions,
which have been suspended for four years.

The timetable would provide for devolved government by
March, following on a series of measures running from later
this month, through November.

It would also take account of an important International
Monitoring Commission (IMC) report in January.

All these landmarks being successfully negotiated, it will
be on to the final leg and the institutions being fully
operational from the end of March.

There could also be an All-Ireland referendum on the deal,
though this has yet to be decided.

Gene McKenna


Adams And Paisley Agree Progess Has Been Made

Last updated: 13-10-06, 17:54

DUP Leader Rev Ian Paisley said considerable progress had
been made during the talks at St. Andrews in Scotland.

He said: "Unionists can have confidence that its interests
are being advanced and democracy is finally winning the

But he maintained his stance that Sinn Féin had to change
its position on policing.

"There must be unequivocal support for the laws of the land
and those who enforce them," said Dr Paisley.

Dr Paisley added that his community could have confidence
that its interests were being advanced and democracy was
having its day.

However he insisted it was over to republicans to deliver
the deal.

"Anyone who aspires to sit in positions of power in
Northern Ireland must by word and deed demonstrate their
unequivocal support for the laws of the land and those who
are charged to enforce them."

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said progress had been made
on the issue of policing which is central to the peace

He also confirmed that republicans would now consult with
their supporters over what had emerged from the three days
of talks.

In an appeal to republicans and nationalists, he said: "I
would ask them to get the documentation, to study it and
debate it out.

"Make their views known and be part of the effort to
resolve these matters."

The West Belfast MP also urged unionists to do likewise.

"Sometimes there's a lot of talk about delivery.
Republicans have delivered big time in recent times.

"We have a moral responsibility to keep delivering, but
it's a collective responsibility.

"Sometimes I think in order to be part of a progressive way
of finding a solution we have to acknowledge we've been
part of the problem."

© 2006


Just Another Wedding?

Not when it's Michael Flatley's big day. Even Fr Aidan
Troy, the north Belfast priest who's no stranger to the
spotlight, admits to being a little nervous as he prepares
to officiate

By Maureen Coleman

13 October 2006

Father Aidan Troy, who was today making final preparations
to officiate at the wedding of dance star Michael Flatley,
has said he planned to treat the showbiz nuptials this
weekend as "just another wedding".

The Belfast-based priest will officiate at the wedding of
the Lord Of The Dance star and Celtic Tiger dancer Niamh
O'Brien at Fermoy tomorrow.

Fr Troy, who played a central role in mediations during the
Holy Cross dispute in Ardoyne in 2001, said he was slightly
nervous about the wedding, but was looking forward to the
couple's big day.

And he said it was an honour to be asked to marry the pair.

"Obviously it's a big undertaking, but the only way I can
deal with it is to treat it as just another wedding," he

"I know there's about 200 people coming along so it will be
quite a big wedding and I'm really looking forward to it.

"Michael and Niamh are a lovely couple who are taking their
vows very seriously."

Fr Troy said the couple had undergone all the pre-wedding
formalities set out by the Catholic Church and that they
were both ready for the commitment.

"Guests at the wedding won't find anything out of the norm
in the ceremony. It's all very traditional," he said.

"The readings are obviously about love and marriage, and
the music is being looked after by Ronan Hardiman."

Fr Troy said he first met dance genius Flatley four years
ago at a funeral.

"Michael's publicist had sadly passed away and we were both
at the funeral," he said.

"I've known him well since then and it was an honour to be
asked to marry him."

The wedding is due to take place in Fermoy, followed by a
reception at Fermoy's Castlehyde mansion.

It is understood Flatley has hired the same hospitality
firm used by goth rocker Marilyn Manson for his big day
last year.

Irish traditional band The Chieftains are expected to
provide music at the reception.

Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, business tycoon Dr
Michael Smurfit and UTV's Gerry Kelly have also been
invited to attend.

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