Direct rule imposed on Ulster
Northern Ireland’s power sharing government was put on ice last night, amid fears it could take months to defrost relations between unionists and republicans, which reached their lowest ebb in years after the discovery of an alleged IRA spy ring 10 days ago.
As Britain suspended the Northern Ireland Assembly on Monday morning, construction workers were adding an extra 3 metres of wire meshing to a “peace wall” separating the Catholic enclave of Short Strand from Cluan Place, a cul de sac in Protestant-dominated East Belfast.
The loyalists of Cluan Place say the most recent trouble began in May when nationalists began hurling pipe bombs, bricks and petrol bombs over the wall. Five months later, they say, the attacks remain a nightly occurrence.