Ulster accord inches forward
Friday 07 May 1999
As Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern brought the key players to Downing Street, government officials initially played down hopes of a breakthrough on the IRA's refusal to decommission its weapons. But as negotiations developed into a series of talks in separate rooms inside No 10, government spokesmen were cautiously more optimistic. They took it as a positive sign that the talks overran their planned schedule by more than two hours.
The two Prime Ministers had planned a series of separate bilateral meetings with Mr Adams, John Hume, of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist leader, and Ian Paisley, the Democratic Unionist Party leader. But they used the meeting to press the party leaders to make compromises.
Mr Ahern made it clear in advance of yesterday's talks that he was opposed to a British compromise allowing the executive to be set up for six months without its full powers. Mr Hume and his deputy, Seamus Mallon, also strongly argued against "parking" the talks. Mr Paisley betrayed no hint of compromise by the hardline DUP, and warned he would use his European election campaign as a referendum against the Good Friday Agreement. Mr Trimble, Northern Ireland's First Minister, is also mindful of strong feelings within his party that he must give no ground on decommissioning.
An 11-year-old boy told last night how he pleaded with a masked gunman for his life. Declan Lagan and Gary McWilliams, were outside a Belfast bookmaker's shop when the gunman pulled up in a car and levelled it at them. As Declan asked the man not to shoot the gun jammed and the boys ran into the shop which was fired on.
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...