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The troubled path to power-sharing

OCTOBER 2006: The St Andrews Agreement resulted from multi-party talks held in Scotland from October 11-13 and led to the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly

NOVEMBER 2006: A transitional assembly is installed. However, a debate is interrupted as Michael Stone tries to enter to Stormont

DECEMBER 2006: Sinn Fein announces it is calling a special meeting of its executive to discuss the issue of republican backing for policing

JANUARY 2007: SF members vote to support policing in Northern Ireland for the first time in the party’s history

MARCH 2007: The Northern Ireland electorate goes to the polls to elect 108 members to a new Stormont Assembly. The DUP emerges as the largest party with 36 of the seats. Sinn Fein takes 28, the Ulster Unionists win 18 seats, the SDLP 16, and the Alliance Party seven seats

MARCH 2007: Devolved government returns to Northern Ireland after DUP and Sinn Fein leaders hold a breakthrough meeting. Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams, sitting side-by-side at Stormont, confirm that power-sharing will return on May 8

MAY 2007: Rev Ian Paisley takes power as First Minister with Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as deputy First Minister on May 8

MAY 2008: Target date for the devolution of justice and policing passes

JUNE 2008: Sinn Fein backs the election of the DUP’s Peter Robinson as First Minister despite suggestions that it would block the move

AUGUST 2008: Sinn Fein threatens to collapse the Assembly as the impasse over justice and policing continues. The row over the devolution of justice has been behind the failure of ministers to hold any executive meetings over the summer.

Belfast Telegraph


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