New Ulster crisis talks called at Number Ten

TONY BLAIR and Bertie Ahern will call Gerry Adams, David Trimble and other key party leaders to crisis talks at Downing Street in an attempt to break the deadlock over the Northern Ireland peace process.

Comment: Trimble, Blair, Mowlam and Ahern should take a gamble on weapons

COLMCILE DOES not seem to like Nick Martin-Clark. I picture him now, bristly and squat, tapping out his furious, semi-literate messages in a state of desperation that this elegant rival might actually win converts. NMC himself, though the name belongs to a supercilious Brit from a Hollywood movie, is never anything but lucid and respectful. As well he might be, since he is a most unwelcome visitor to the republican bulletin board, the place where you go to chat after you've absorbed Gerry Adams's latest missive on the Sinn Fein website.

Letter: IRA arms impasse

Sir: David Trimble says the Good Friday Agreement obliges the IRA to commence decommissioning prior to the setting up of the Northern Ireland Executive. Gerry Adams' position is that Trimble's statement is false. Obviously, one of them is being "disingenuous".

Leading Article: Ireland cannot live in this limbo land for much longer

A FEW days ago Gerry Adams said this: "I am convinced that we are going to get a democratic peace settlement and that's why I say to David Trimble: `But why not now? Why put it off?' This is the time for moving forward, for seizing the moment and moving positively together and not letting people down."

Parliament: Minister's Pay: `Catch-up' salary rise of 24% awarded to peers

THE SALARIES of some junior ministers are to rise by 24 per cent - more than 10 times the rate of inflation, Tony Blair announced yesterday.

Mandela calls on Ulster to reach a deal

PRESIDENT NELSON Mandela yesterday telephoned Belfast to express solidarity with the politicians - British, Irish nationalist and Ulster Unionist - who are engaged in a last-ditch attempt to break the deadlock in the peace process.

Ulster: A Make-or-Break Year

10 April 1998 Good Friday Agreement signed by unionist, nationalist and republican parties, promising devolution, a power-sharing executive, and cross-border bodies.

One year on: half a peace is better than none

Ulster's Good Friday euphoria may have faded, but violence is still at its lowest level for 30 years, writes Steve Crawshaw

Parliament Ulster Talks: Government may buy terrorist arms

THE GOVERNMENT'S purchase of arms from paramilitary groups is being considered as an option to "oil" the decommissioning process, Mo Mowlam, the Northern Ireland Secretary, said yesterday.

Mowlam plea for gesture to end stalemate

MO MOWLAM led a minute's silence in Washington yesterday for the murdered solicitor Rosemary Nelson. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was in the United States for meetings and St Patrick's Day celebrations.

Peace in the wasteland

Famine and war have killed two million in Sudan. What can a tribal conference in the bush hope to achieve?

Rugby Union: History gains upper hand

Andrew Longmore in Dublin watches a cup final struggle to match the day

Rugby Union: Irish prepared for miracles

GERRY ADAMS and David Trimble are expected to share the same VIP box overlooking the Lansdowne Road bearpit in Dublin this afternoon and in a perfect world, Ulster would win the European Cup with the last kick of the game and send the two men heading arm in arm towards Kitty O'Shea's for 58 pints of you know what and a table-thumping chorus of "Get 'Em Down, You Zulu Warrior". Pie in the sky? Perhaps. But then, who gave the white-shirted no-hopers from Ravenhill an earthly of making the final? Maybe one miracle will lead to another.

Blair told of terror blitz by Drumcree Orangemen

TONY BLAIR failed to break the deadlock over the Orange Order march at Drumcree when he held talks yesterday with residents from the nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown.

Leading Article: Not much honour in a gong fashioned for another age

THE NEW Year's honours list is a hardy perennial. Every year it brings forth the same sparse crop of civil servants and "the great and the good", accompanied by a sprinkling of entertainers and sports personalities.
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