Ireland. According to
countryaah, Former Prime Minister Ray Burke was sentenced in
January to six months in prison for failing to declare
income equivalent to € 147,000 in 1993. Burke, who belonged
to the Fianna Fáil government party, was appointed Foreign
Minister in 1997, even though there were already suspicions
that he had committed financial irregularities.
In October, a government report drew sharp criticism of
police and Catholic bishops in a Diocese of County Wexford
for how they handled sexual abuse of children as priests
committed during the period 1966-2002.
In response to the Provisional IRA's actions, Protestants
in Northern Ireland set up a number of paramilitary
organizations, such as the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and
the Ulster Defense Association (UDA). During the period
1969-94, 3,000 were killed by paramilitary groups on both
sides, the British Army, the Ulster Police Forces and the
Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) - another police force. In
1972 the paramilitary prisoners were called political
prisoners, but from 1976 this name was again canceled.
The ever-increasing violence led London to take full
responsibility for "the creation of law and order in
Northern Ireland". The government of Belfast was dissolved
and a direct government from Westminster was introduced. In
a referendum conducted in March 1973, 60% voted in favor of
a continued union with Britain. (See UK). In late 1973, a
form of parliament was created in Belfast, where Protestants
and Catholics allegedly shared power.
The agreement reached in December between the London and
Dublin governments on the establishment of a Council of
Ireland and a Northern Irish government encountered fierce
opposition among the Protestants, who in 1974 conducted a
general strike, culminating in the state of emergency and
the dissolution of the government. London again assumed
government responsibility but retained the Northern Irish
In Ireland, the nationalist conservative Fianna Fáil
party had been in power for 44 years, when it was beaten by
a coalition consisting of the Conservative Fine Gael and the
Labor Party in the 1973 elections. The coalition declared
its willingness to conduct a division of power with Ulster.
After the IRA assassinated the British ambassador to
Ireland in 1976, Northern Ireland tightened its funds
against terrorism. At the 1977 election, Fianna Fáil
regained power and maintained good relations with London.
Prime Minister Jack Lynch supported the formation of a local
government in the north rather than requiring mergers
between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
In August 1979, Dublin agreed to increase border control
after Lord Mountbatten was killed in Ireland and 18 British
soldiers were killed in Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland. In
December, Lynch resigned from the Prime Minister's post and
was replaced by former Minister Charles Haughey, who again
raised the issue of reunification but with some form of
autonomy for Ulster.
Regular ministerial meetings between England and Ireland
culminated in 1985 with the signing of the Anglo-Irish
Agreement. It allowed the Irish Government to intervene in
the political, legal, security and border conditions in
Northern Ireland. The majority of Protestants in the north
expressed great dissatisfaction with the agreement, but it
also stated that Northern Ireland's affiliation could only
be decided by its own residents.