Allison McCulloch

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After more than 1,000 days in abeyance, Northern Ireland’s governing institutions are working again. After talks facilitated by the governments for the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, the two main parties appointed their governing representatives: First Minister Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin, along with the rest of the government.

The deal that brought Sinn Féin and the DUP back to governing outlines a series of institutional reforms meant to streamline decision-making between the power-sharing partners. One of the most significant reforms is a political process called the Petition of Concern, which was a major difficulty during the talks.…  Seguir leyendo »

A pedestrian walks past a billboard in west Belfast (AFP/Getty Images)

When Northern Ireland’s nationalists and unionists made peace in 1998, a key part of the deal was a power-sharing arrangement to run Northern Ireland’s government. That collapsed 13 months ago, and five rounds of talks have not been enough to bring it back to life. The latest talks ended Feb. 14, when Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster announced her party’s withdrawal. Here’s how Northern Ireland got into this mess, and here is what could happen next.

Northern Ireland’s government collapsed over corruption scandal and cultural conflict

A decade of power-sharing between the unionist DUP and nationalist Sinn Féin fell apart last January when Sinn Féin pulled out, primarily because of a scandal involving a botched renewable heating scheme.…  Seguir leyendo »