Reynolds questions 'good faith' of Sinn Fein: Sectarian death toll continues to rise

AS THE Northern Ireland death toll continued to rise yesterday, the Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, publicly questioned the republican movement's flexibility, discipline and good faith.

His comments, made to British and Irish parliamentarians in Dublin, represent the Irish government's strongest demand yet for the IRA and Sinn Fein to match their talk of peace with action.

The recent rise in killings have caused many observers North and South to wonder whether the Irish peace process may be unravelling. The IRA, which had been confining its attacks to the security forces, has returned to killing Protestants and an alleged drug-dealer.

This republican escalation has not taken place in a vacuum, since loyalist assassins have also been increasingly active. The net result has been a widespread apprehension that, after a relative lull in the killings, Northern Ireland may be drifting back to the bad old days.

Yesterday in a shopping centre in Glengormley on the outskirts of north Belfast, gunmen from the Irish National Liberation Organisation shot dead one Protestant man and seriously injured another. This may have been retaliation for Tuesday night's killing of a Catholic in the New Lodge district of north Belfast. Joe McCloskey, 52, a father of six, was killed by gunmen who walked into his living-room and shot him.

In his speech Mr Reynolds condemned loyalist violence but reserved most of his criticism for republicans. He declared: 'Sinn Fein leaders have claimed that the achievement of peace is the total priority of their organisation. How do they expect this to be believed by the public when they see republican violence on the rise again?

'What does the murder of two Protestants and several policemen this year contribute to moving the peace process forward?' He continued: 'How can we be confident of the good faith of the republican movement when members engage with increasing frequency in murder? Are these events a sign that the unity of purpose and discipline in that organisation is not as strong as is often supposed? Do they in fact have the ability and the coherence to agree to peace? Answers are demanded by the Irish people.'

A 23-year-old Royal Marine appeared in court in Belfast yesterday on five terrorist charges. Derek William Adgey was accused of conspiring to murder a prominent republican, Brian Gillen, and others.

Six men accused of being involved in a plot to buy bomb parts and other weapons which were to be smuggled from the United States to the IRA have been acquitted by a jury in Tucson, Arizona.

The men - who include three from Northern Ireland and became known to Irish sympathisers as the 'Arizona Six' - were charged with illegally purchasing 2,900 explosive detonators from a company in Arizona under the pretext that they were to be used for mining. The devices were packed in boxes marked as clothing, and smuggled to New York on a Greyhound bus, the prosecution alleged. It also claimed that some of the devices were secretly transported to Northern Ireland, via Canada, and used in bombings between January 1991 and June 1992.

One man was believed dead and another injured following a shooting in Springfield Park, west Belfast, last night.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Developer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a world leader ...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future