Putting aside decades of hostility, Northern Ireland’s main pro-British Unionist party and the pro-Irish Nationalists of Sinn Fein have struck an historic deal to start power sharing on May 8. DUP leader Ian Paisley said: “We must not allow our justified loathing of the horrors and tragedies of the past to become a barrier to creating a better and more stable future for our children. And looking to that future, we must never forget those who have suffered during the dark period.”
The deal follows the first ever direct talks between Paisley and Gerry Adams. The Sinn Fein President said it marked “a new era of politics on this island. “We have all come a very long way in the process of peacemaking and national reconciliation,” he told a press conference, sitting alongside Paisley. “We are very conscious of the many people who have suffered. We owe it to them to build the best future possible. It is a time for generosity. A time to be mindful of the common good and of the future of all our people.”
London and Dublin had wanted a new power-sharing executive to be formed at the province’s parliament today. But both have welcomed the compromise between the traditional arch-opponents and the British government is set to rush through emergency legislation to prevent Stormont being closed down.