They say the Troubles are unlikely to return to Northern Ireland. They say the Irish Republican Army doesn?t have the option of returning to war. The IRA has the guns, the IRA has the men, the IRA has the capacity ? but they Just Won?t Do It.
In a post-Sept. 11 world, so the thinking goes, no Western paramilitary organization wants to be lumped in with Osama bin Laden. Especially not the IRA, which after years of struggle has gained (one hesitates to say ?earned?) a certain badge of respectability ? a seat at the negotiating table alongside major powers. So don?t count on a ?spectacular.?
At the risk of sounding overly contrarian (not to mention alarmist) I wonder if circumstances might prove the conventional wisdom wrong here. Continue reading →
Not quite kissing and making up, but Irish PM Bertie Ahern and DUP leader Iain Paisley had a ‘constructive and businesslike’ meeting in London on Thursday – the first meeting between the two for five years.
Say hello to another 1,276,000 inhabitants of the EU in 2003, bringing the total to 380.8 million people on January 1st 2004. Most of them were immigrants, out of the total increase of 3.4 people for every 1000 inhabitants, 2.6 was down to net migration while only 0.8 was accounted for by natural increase (births minus deaths). Continue reading →