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NI Deadlock Friday, 18 October, 2002, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Audio video: Northern Ireland peace process
BBC News Online provides coverage and analysis of latest events in the Northern Ireland peace process.


Talks focus on impasse

21 November 2002


N. Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy will co-host the talks
Talks aimed at restoring devolution are held between pro-Agreement parties at Stormont for the first time since the suspension of the power sharing assembly on 14 October. However the Democratic Unionist Party is to stay away.



IRA breaks contact with arms body

30 October 2002


IRA blamed British Government for crisis
The IRA announces it has stopped engaging with the international decommissioning body because the British Government had "by its own admission" not kept its commitments under the Good Friday Agreement.



Blair demands end to IRA violence

17 October 2002


UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
Mr Blair delivered a hard-hitting speech in Belfast
In a keynote speech in Belfast, Tony Blair demands the IRA must remove its threat of violence in order for the Northern Ireland political process to succeed. The prime minister says "we cannot carry on with the IRA half in, half out of this process".



Northern Ireland Assembly suspended

14 October 2002


The Parliament Buildings at Stormont
Power transfers back to London from Stormont
Devolution in Northern Ireland is suspended for the fourth time at midnight amid another crisis in the political process. The latest deadlock is caused by allegations of IRA intelligence gathering inside the Northern Ireland Office.



Gerry Adams in Downing Street

10 October 2002


Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams said nationalists and republicans do not see the suspension as the least worst option
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams tells the prime minister that suspension of the power-sharing executive would be a mistake. He said there was no basis for the demand of the Ulster Unionist Party that Sinn Fein should be expelled.



Premiers hold crisis summit

9 October 2002


Bertie Ahern (left) and Tony Blair
Bertie Ahern (left) and Tony Blair
The UK and Irish prime ministers hold a crisis summit to discuss the latest developments in the ailing political process. Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern meet on Wednesday against a background of uncertainty about the future of the power-sharing administration.



Police apology over Sinn Fein raid

7 October 2002


Northern Ireland's Chief Constable Hugh Orde
Northern Ireland's Chief Constable Hugh Orde said the raid could have been carried out differently
Northern Ireland's chief constable apologises for the manner in which Sinn Fein's Stormont office was raided on 4 October. Hugh Orde told reporters there had been "errors of judgement" in how the Stormont search had been conducted.




Demonstrations across West Belfast

5 October 2002


Sinn Fein protesters outside a West Belfast police station
Sinn Fein protesters outside a West Belfast police station
Members of Sinn Fein stage demonstrations across West Belfast to protest against the raid on the party's offices at Stormont. Four people face questioning over allegations that a republican spy penetrated the Northern Ireland Office.



Sinn Fein offices raided

4 October 2002


Police leave Stormont after the raid
Police leave Stormont after the raid
A major search is carried out at Sinn Fein offices by police with documents and computer discs taken. The operation is part of a major police investigation into allegations that the IRA had a 'mole' within the Northern Ireland Office.



Decommissioning
IRA makes second weapons move

9 April 2002


An IRA arms cache
An IRA arms cache

The IRA announces it has put more of its arms beyond use saying its aim is to "stabilise, sustain and strengthen" the Northern Ireland peace process. The body charged with overseeing decommissioning calls the move "substantial".



IRA begins decommissioning

23 October 2001

Schoolgirls play in front of an IRA Mural in Belfast
Schoolgirls play in front of an IRA Mural in Belfast

The IRA announced it had decommissioned part of its arsenal of weapons. A statement from the International Commission on Decommissioning confirmed the claim, calling it "a significant event.''



Reaction

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

Tony Blair announces the decommissioning body's findings that the IRA has started to put its weapons beyond use. He says the developments would have been considered "unimaginable a few years ago".



Northern Ireland Secretary Dr John Reid

Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid

Dr John Reid addresses the Commons and says decommissioning is an historic step, but now all parties must build on it to achieve lasting stability.



Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin

Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin

Mitchel McLaughlin tells the BBC's Today Programme that the objective is to take all of the guns out of the political equation in Northern Ireland. He said this will be a difficult and complex scenario.



Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble

David Trimble talks about the substantial quantities of IRA arms that have been decommissioned and describes some of the many obstacles which have had to be overcome in the process..



Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams says the IRA's decommissioning of arms is an historic move and an unprecedented step which has really seized the peace initiative.



Progressive Unionist Party member Billy Hutchinson

Progressive Unionist Party member Billy Hutchinson

Northern Ireland Assembly member Billy Hutchinson says the Progressive Unionist Party has worked hard for the peace process, and he is now waiting to see what the IRA does next before planning his next move.



The background

The path to peace

The Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972
The Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972

For years, the issue of decommissioning has been a stubborn obstacle to a lasting peace in Northern Ireland. Now, the IRA has become the first Irish republican group to disarm in this way, something that in previous decades, its members would never have accepted.



Tensions persist

Catholic parents escort their children with RUC Officers in riot gear to the Holy Cross School in Belfast
The religious tensions at Holy Cross School

The start of decommissioning has been welcomed by many people across Northern Ireland. But on the streets of the more hardline communities there have been decades of hatred and mistrust. Something that will definitely not change overnight.


Find out more about the latest moves in the Northern Ireland peace process

Devolution crisis

Analysis

Background

SPECIAL REPORT: IRA

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
Links to more NI Deadlock stories are at the foot of the page.


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