The fractious power-sharing government in Northern Ireland effectively collapsed Thursday as Peter Robinson, leader of the majority party, followed through on his threat to resign as the province’s chief executive.
Police suspect members of the IRA were involved in the August . 12 shooting death of former IRA member Kevin McGuigan. “Nobody is a member of it”. The trio were subsequently released unconditionally.
Robinson said a police assessment of the IRA’s involvement in murder and the continued existence of “IRA structures” had “pushed devolution to the brink”, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said that there was a “limited opportunity” to avert the collapse of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing administration, and if it fell, it could be some time before it resumed.
Mr. Cameron has said he is “deeply worried” about the crisis but said: “I don’t think it’s right for the British government to step in and suspend these institutions”.
“I will be working and continuing to work with determination with the Prime Minister, the Northern Ireland parties and colleagues in the Northern Ireland government to get a way through these crises and find a resolution to the hugely important challenges we now face”.
Northern Ireland’s first minister has dramatically resigned in a crisis sparked by suspicions over Irish Republican Army activity threatening the British province’s hard-earned political stability.
Earlier this week, a senior Sinn Fein member was arrested in connection to the murder.
One of the three was Bobby Storey, the Sinn Fein party’s chairman in Northern Island Assembly.
Sinn Fein was once the IRA’s political wing.
“And after unionists said that party should be excluded from leadership positions in the government, things quickly deteriorated from there. His job as Taoiseach is to represent the people of this State and, on behalf of all the people of the island, to uphold the Good Friday and other agreements and to make sure that David Cameron does the same”, he said.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams strongly criticised the move this morning, reiterating his party’s belief that the NIE should not be suspended.
However, the DUP is pressing the London government to pass legislation which would allow for an open ended suspension of the Assembly.
Mr Storey said he had “serious concerns” over his arrest, and the timing of it and claimed “not a shred of evidence or intelligence” was presented to him during questioning.
Claiming the UUP’s leader, Mike Nesbitt is using the crisis to “score points against the DUP”, Deputy Adams said: “The resistance to change remains within unionism and the systems, north and south, and in the British establishment”. If they can not resolve problems themselves they risk decisions again being taken out of their hands.
He told the Today programme: “It looks to me very much as though we are back to the awful situation we were in in 1998 when the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in a similar situation said “oh, these killings were just internal housekeeping by the Republican movement”, in effect giving them a licence to murder”.