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March 27, 2007

NI Bill Rushed Through Parliament

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 03/27/07 NI Bill Rushed Through Parliament
SF 03/27/07 Adams Says 'Thank You' To International Community
SF 03/27/07 SF Works For Best Financial Deal For Incoming Exec
SF 30/27/07 United Opposition To Sellafield


NI Bill Rushed Through Parliament

Emergency legislation allowing Northern Ireland's historic power-
sharing deal to go ahead has been rushed through Parliament with
all-party backing.

NI Secretary Peter Hain hailed the "triumph of peace over
conflict" as the deadline for devolution was effectively extended
by six weeks.

It follows Monday's ground-breaking deal between the DUP and Sinn
Fein to share power in a new Assembly on 8 May.

The NI St Andrews Agreement Act 2007 cleared all its stages
without a vote.

It has received Royal Assent.

Mr Hain praised Mr Paisley's "courage and leadership" in engaging
with Mr Adams at Stormont.

Mr Paisley told the Commons on Tuesday that it was a "good day"
for the House, for the United Kingdom and for the "people of
Ireland, north and south".

He said there was a "star of hope" that could lead to a bright

But he added: "It is only a star of hope and we must remember

"We are not nearly across the river and we have some very hard
things to do, and some great sacrifices to be made, in order that
this star will not be like many other stars."

Mr Paisley said it was a "work-in" rather than "a love-in we are
engaged in".

He said they had raised with Sinn Fein the issue of the killing
of Belfast man Robert McCartney, and said: "We did get the
promise that something would be done."

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier, the DUP MP William
McCrea said there was no place for Sinn Fein in government.

"As far as I am concerned Sinn Fein in the government is
abnoxious to me. It makes me sick to the bottom of my stomach."

"Because my thoughts are with the innocent victims, both
Protestant and Roman Catholic throughout this community, that
have been slaughtered by the IRA and so-called loyalist terrorist

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the developments of recent days had
"vindicated" those who had always supported power-sharing, but
voiced regret at past opposition to it by other parties.

"When people see parties who rejected those concepts then
settling for and embracing those concepts they do have to wonder
did we have to go through the suffering, the hurt, the political
stalemate, the stagnation, the divisions that we went through -
and the answer is that we didn't," he said.

"I know in recent times in this process, maybe because of our
tolerance, our patience, our generosity, my party has lost seats.

"But I can live much more comfortably with lost seats than with
what other parties have to live with - which is lost years, lost
opportunities and lost lives."

Ulster Unionist MP Sylvia Hermon warned: "One of the greatest
casualties yesterday was trust in the entire Northern Ireland
ministerial team who gave undertakings and commitments in this
House that there would be no emergency legislation to break
through the 26 March deadline."

It is Sinn Fein policy not to take part in debates at

The government hopes the bill will be law by midnight on Tuesday.
Opposition parties have already pledged their support.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/03/27 21:16:18 GMT


Adams Says 'Thank You' To International Community

Published: 27 March, 2007

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP last night spoke with former
US President Bill Clinton.

The Sinn Fein leader, who had earlier spoken with Senator Ted
Kennedy, thanked President Clinton for "his efforts over many
years to support and encourage the peace process."

Speaking this morning in Belfast Mr. Adams said:

"The peace process has come a long way over the last 15 years.
Significant progress has been made, and initiatives and
developments have occurred which many would have thought
impossible. Monday's meeting between the DUP and Sinn Fein is the
most potent and recent example of that.

A new and unprecedented opportunity for progress now exists.
People are more hopeful now than at any time since the Good
Friday Agreement.

Of course, there is still a long way to go and much work to be
done but I believe it is right and proper that we take this time
to thank all of those who helped create this opportunity.
Particularly those in the international community who backed the
search for peace and supported the centrality of inclusive
dialogue and negotiations, when such concepts were not popular.

I want to especially thank the Irish diaspora around the world.
Those Irish or of Irish descent who make up Irish America, or
live in Canada and Australia and elsewhere who have played a
pivotal role in the development of the peace process.

There are many such far sighted people from all walks of life.
From the corporate world, NGOs, the Labour movement, the Arts and
literary world as well as political representatives. Too many to
name. But I think of leaders like Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of
London who was vilified in the British and Irish media for daring
to speak away back in the early 1980sto Sinn Fein and Tony Benn
and Jeremy Corbyn and many others in London.

And then there are a whole host of others like President Clinton;
Senator George Mitchell; former South African President Nelson
Mandela, the current South African President Thabo Mbeki;
President Fidel Castro; Cyril Ramaphosa; Martti Ahtisaari;
Senators Kennedy and Dodds, and Congress members like Jim Walsh
and Richie Neal and Peter King. And many, many more.

I want to see a very public and heartfelt go raibh maith agaibh -
thank you - to all of them. We are where we are because of their
trust and confidence in us. They never gave up - even when things
looked bad.

Our responsibility to the people of Ireland and to all of our
international friends and comrades is to commit ourselves to
never give up, and to keep pushing this process forward to the
day when we achieve Irish freedom and a free united Ireland."


Sinn Fein Will Continue To Work For 'Best Financial Resources'
For Incoming Executive

Published: 27 March, 2007

North Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Daith¡ McKay has said that Sinn Fein
will continue to work over the next six weeks to ensure that the
new Assembly Executive has the "best financial resources" to
deliver for people. Mr McKay was speaking after Sinn Fein's first
meeting with the DUP at Stormont.

Mr McKay said:

"The comments made by Ian Paisley are first of all to be welcomed
and are an example of clear and unequivocal leadership on behalf
of the Democratic Unionist Party. May 8th will mark the beginning
of a new era in Irish politics and we Iook forward to working
constructively with the DUP not only at Assembly level but at
Council level as well.

"T£s maith leath na hoibre. A good start is half the work, but we
must ensure that the preparatory work for a new and properly
functioning Executive is completed. Sinn Fein will continue to
engage with the British Chancellor and the Irish Government over
the next few weeks to ensure that the incoming Executive has the
best possible resources to fulfil their responsibilities.

"While it is disappointing that the political institutions of the
Good Friday Agreement were not restored on Monday, the agreement
reached between Sinn Fein and the DUP, including the unequivocal
commitment, made by their party Executive and reiterated today,
to the restoration of political institutions on May 8th, marks
the beginning of a new era of politics on this island.

"Collectively we have created the potential to build a new,
harmonious and equitable relationship between nationalists and
republicans and unionists, as well as the rest of the people of
the island of Ireland.

"Sinn Fein will take nothing for granted in the days and weeks
ahead but we will do all that we can to ensure a successful
outcome and we ask everyone to support us in our efforts."



United Opposition To Sellafield

Published: 27 March, 2007

Sinn Fein South Down MLA Willie Clarke has welcomed the joint
meeting between Irish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Austrian
Environment Ministers in Dublin to discuss the issue of

Speaking after party colleague, Louth TD Arthur Morgan met and
briefed representatives of the Norwegian Government delegation,
Mr Clarke said:

"I very much welcome the coming together of a number of
governments that share deep deep concerns about Sellafield and
the establishment of a joint approach in an effort to stop the
re-opening of the Thorp plant at Sellafield.

"The fact is that there are a number of clusters where there is
an exceptionally high incidences of Cancer in Louth, South Down
and in the Lofoten region of Norway. Clearly there is a need to
intensify the campaign to end all dangerous and deadly nuclear
re-processing at Sellafield.

"Sinn Fein have been have been invited to attend a forum,
comprising of organisations from the Nordic countries and
Sellafield management at Sellafield in May next. One of the key
aims of the forum is the reduction of emissions from this
menacing and toxic plant.

"Sinn Fein also hopes to meet with the British Prime Minister
following the forum. I would welcome such an opportunity to
remind the British Prime Minister that he went to war on the
people of Iraq over alleged weapons of mass destruction and
chemical warfare while he and his nuclear industry have a huge
weapon of mass destruction at Sellafield that is constantly
engaged in a chemical war on the health of the people of this


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