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  • N. Ireland Index

  •   Key Points of N. Ireland Accord

    Friday, April 10, 1998; 12:48 p.m. EDT

    The Northern Ireland accord will create three interconnected bodies of government within Northern Ireland, between the north and rest of Ireland, and between the Irish Republic and United Kingdom as a whole.

    NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY
    Elections in June for a 108-seat assembly at Stormont, former center of a Protestant-dominated parliament abolished in 1972. Checks and balances require Protestants and Catholics to share power and responsibilities.

    Powers now administered by Britain's Northern Ireland Office will not be handed back to local politicians until early 1999 -- and only if the assembly members agree on how to participate in the North-South Council.

    NORTH-SOUTH COUNCIL
    A forum for ministers from the Irish Republic's government to promote joint policy-making with the new Northern Ireland assembly. Areas of potential common interest include agriculture, transportation links, policing and relations with the European Union. Will have powers to implement all-Ireland policies -- but only with the approval of both the Northern Ireland assembly and the Irish parliament in Dublin.

    EAST-WEST COUNCIL
    Lawmakers from the Irish Republic will meet regularly with members of the British Parliament from London, the Northern Ireland assembly, and with representatives of the new parliament for Scotland and assembly for Wales. It will have no administrative or legislative powers.

    IRISH CONSTITUTION
    Republic of Ireland will hold referendum on amending the country's constitution, which now claims the territory of Northern Ireland.

    © Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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