Stormont; blogging through a crisis

For new visitors, and those too bewildered to have taken it all in, here’s a quick recap on recent events in Belfast, according to Letter to Slugger O’Toole.

The current crisis broke less than a week ago, with an early morning raid on the Sinn Fein offices in Northern Ireland Assembly Building. The PSNI quickly released details of what was captured in the raid to members of the Sunday press and by Monday, the Nationalist Irish News was calling for the IRA to stand down.

By Tuesday, there was confusion over whether and when Ian Paisley’s DUP ministers in the power-sharing executive had resigned there posts. It turned out they were going to, but not until Friday (more here). On the same day Hugh Orde, the Cheif Constable of the PSNI apologised for the manner of the raid, but that charges would still go ahead. Meanwhile there was trouble elsewhere.

Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein’s Education Minister, said the IRA would not be going back to war. Roy Greenslade, in the Guardian made a case that ‘spying’ was a simple quid pro quo in the exceptional circumstances of Northern Ireland.

With the SDLP accepting that suspension of all the devolved institutions being inevitable, it seems clear that this phase of the process is drawing to a close (more here).

Meanwhile the long running feud between two Loyalist paramilitary groups continues to count its casualties.

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