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Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 16:21 GMT

The Workers Party

The Workers Party is a small socialist party which is in favour of the Good Friday Agreement.

It regards itself as a non-sectarian party but it originated after a split within the Republican movement in the seventies.

It took its present name in 1982 and has tried to distance itself from links with its paramilitary past for many years.

Some commentators still believe the party has connections with the Official IRA.

" There's a significant population out there who do not see themselves as unionists or nationalists "
John Lowry

The Workers Party operates as an all-Ireland organisation but in 1982 it split again and the breakaway party Democratic Left took with it six of its seven TDs in the Irish Parliament, the Dail.

The party has never held a seat at Westminster. Despite this, and a decline in its vote in recent elections, the party intends to run six candidates in the general election.

West Belfast candidate John Lowry has said he believes Northern Ireland remains polarised and torn apart by sectarian tensions.

He said: "There's a significant population out there who do not see themselves as unionists or nationalists, and believe the politics of unionism and nationalism has failed."

Along with Mr Lowry the other Workers Party candidates are: Paddy Lynn, South Belfast; Marcella Delaney, North Belfast; Joe Bell, East Belfast; Tom French, Upper Bann; and Francie Donnelly, Mid-Ulster.

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