Thoughts on peace in Northern Ireland
On 25th June 1998, I voted to elect the members of the Assembly
that will govern Northern Ireland from now on. I voted
primarily for the Alliance Party simply because they were the only
cross-community party available to me (and I'm not mad enough to
vote Natural Law!)
The Northern Ireland Assembly met for the first time in July 1998 to elect a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister. And so it is that David Trimble (Ulster Unionist Party) is the first First Minister of our Province and Seamus Mallen (Social Democratic Labour Party) is his deputy along with Lord Alderdice as Speaker. This is, in itself, very encouraging since our First Minister is a Unionist while his deputy is a Nationalist, it shows a willingness on the part of both of the two major political parties to co-operate. Another very strange sight was seeing Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams sitting in the same room as each other during this debate and even hurling insults at each other -- indirectly, of course.