News The Prime Minister's authority was challenged by his own backbenchers as they demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

More than 80 backbenchers had demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

Unionist angered by Sinn Feinwarning on weapons

Colin Brown adds: A warning by a Sinn Fein leader that the peace process would be doomed if the Government insisted on weapons being surrendered before talks began angered hard-line Ulster Unionist MPs last night.

The Ulster Peace Process: Left asks Adams to address MPs

LEFT-WING Labour MPs last night invited Gerry Adams to speak to MPs at the House of Commons following the lifting of the Home Office exclusion order barring him from mainland Britain.

Ulster troops wind-down in prospect

TROOPS could be taken off the streets of Belfast as a response by the Government to ceasefires by the IRA and loyalist paramilitary groups, Malcolm Rifkind, the Secretary of State for Defence, told MPs last night.

The Loyalist Ceasefire: Major greets 'another piece of the jigsaw'

JOHN MAJOR said yesterday that the ceasefire by loyalist paramilitaries meant 'another part of the jigsaw puzzle has fallen into place' in the search for lasting peace in Ireland.

Loyalists match IRA ceasefire: Unconditional promise to lay down arms increases pressure on Government to speed the peace process

NORTHERN Ireland came a step closer to peace yesterday after loyalist paramilitary groups followed the example of the IRA and announced a ceasefire from midnight. Their declaration means that for the first time in 25 years of conflict all the major paramilitary groups have promised to give up violence.

Hume in Washington as Irish peace process shifts to US

(First Edition)

Adams hits at ceasefire 'tomfoolery' by Major

THE SINN FEIN president Gerry Adams last night abandoned the diplomatic language of the peace process by calling the Prime Minister a 'tomfool'. Mr Adams said John Major was just playing with words by demanding the IRA include the word 'permanent' in its ceasefire declaration.

Paisley: A blast from the past?: If any one man can claim to have been the voice of the Troubles, it is Ian Paisley, turbulent preacher and hell-fire politician. But if peace comes to Northern Ireland, it could spell extinction for his personal brand of fundamentalism

WHEN IAN PAISLEY was a gawky, relatively unknown bachelor-preacher, Catholic bigotry was much in evidence in Ireland. In the north, Bishop Farren of Derry warned Catholics: 'If you allow your children to be contaminated by those who are not of the fold, then you can expect nothing but disaster.' At least one of the fold, Maura Lyons, a 15-year-old Belfast working-class girl, ignored the warning. Eldest of a family of five from the Catholic Falls Road, she was a stitcher for the Star Clothing Company where, in 1956, visiting gospellers caused her to doubt her Catholicism. She contacted a minister of the Free Presbyterian Church who introduced her to Ian Paisley.

All-party Ulster talks 'two years away'

THE START of inclusive round- table negotiations involving the British and Irish governments and Northern Ireland parties is probably two years away, according to the Government's private estimate.

Paisley is left 'feeling empty': Charles Oulton reports on the events that followed John Major's dramatic walk-out

HUMILIATION and the Rev Ian Paisley are not natural bedfellows but that is what the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party experienced yesterday when he found himself addressing a virtually empty room in Downing Street on the subject of Northern Ireland.

Unionists by name, duellists by nature: James Molyneaux and Ian Paisley: their constituents have outgrown them, says John Torode

ARE ULSTER's Protestant ghettoes about to explode? Is the civil war that the Rev Ian Paisley claims to fear really on the cards? The answer will depend in large measure on the reaction of the million-strong Protestant majority to the IRA's 'complete ceasefire'. And their response will be influenced by the struggle between two bitterly competitive old men: James Molyneaux (74), the cautious optimist who leads the 'official' Unionists, and that incautious pessimist Mr Paisley (68), who heads the smaller and more vociferous Democratic Unionists.

IRA Ceasefire: Joy and anger at historic move: Leaders of political and religious groups have given a mixed but often passionate response to yesterday's announcement

JUBILATION, relief, wary optimism, scepticism, disbelief and anger - the IRA's historic ceasefire provoked a predictably wide spectrum of reaction yesterday.

Unionists told there will be no sell-out

THE Government yesterday sought to allay Unionist fears of a 'sell-out' on the Northern Ireland constitution, playing down the importance of possible changes to legislation drawn up at the time of partition more than 50 years ago.

Soldiers' complaints on fire safety 'ignored'

AN MP yesterday called for a full inquiry into the fire at a Northern Ireland Army base in which three soldiers died, amid claims that complaints from soldiers about safety had been ignored.
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