End of the Ulster Peace Deal?

Once again Northern Ireland's peace process is unraveling. First Minister David Trimble is threatening to resign unless the British kick Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, out of the provincial government. Trimble, the top unionist leader, had little choice but to stir up a fuss after the police raided Sinn Fein offices on Oct. 4. The police say an IRA spy ring has penetrated the British government in the province.

Prime Minister Tony Blair will likely suspend the local government for a cooling-off period. That has happened three times since the regional assembly was installed in 1999. But momentum for peace is losing steam as hard-liners gain in popularity in both unionist and republican camps.

Edited by Rose Brady

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