DERRY – Tuesday marked the 10-year anniversary of the first IRA ceasefire, the culmination of years of official and behind-the-scenes negotiation and confidence building. After yet more intricate and stop-and-start dealings, the way was paved for the Good Friday Agreement of April 1998, aimed at permanently settling the 30-year civil conflict in Northern Ireland. With the guns largely silent and the daily litany of bombings, assassinations, and sectarian murder now largely a thing of the past, the focus is on the current political impasse that has stalled the implementation of the landmark peace deal.
DERRY – The third major day of Northern Ireland’s marching season passed off without major incidents, marking a relatively trouble-free summer during what is usually a confrontational and edgy time for the province. On Saturday, over 15,000 members of the radical Apprentice Boys association – part of the Protestant “Loyalist” or “Unionist” camp, as opposed to the predominantly Catholic “Nationalist” or “Republican” faction – marched through Northern Ireland’s second city of Derry.