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Queen hails Irish peace efforts at historic state dinner

Queen Elizabeth II welcomed the Irish president to Britain on Tuesday for the first time since the republic became independent with a banquet also controversially attended by former IRA commander Martin Guinness. The Windsor Castle dinner, attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron and a host of celebrities, was thrown as part of Irish President Michael D. Higgins's state visit as the once-hostile neighbours seek to consolidate their improving ties.

UK ex-minister urges amnesty in Northern Ireland conflict

By Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - An amnesty should be offered to all those involved in 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland, a former British government minister said, ahead of a state visit by the Irish president that will highlight improved ties between London and Dublin.

Northern Ireland set for terror 'amnesty' spat

Northern Ireland's assembly was to hold an emergency debate Friday over letters sent to on-the-run IRA terror suspects, which threatened to bring down the province's administration. The devolved legislature in Belfast has been recalled at the request of First Minister Peter Robinson, who threatened to quit over the affair. Had he done so, the move would almost certainly have collapsed Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive and triggered a snap election.

Northern Ireland set for terror 'amnesty' spat

Northern Ireland's assembly was to hold an emergency debate Friday over letters sent to on-the-run IRA terror suspects, which threatened to bring down the province's administration. The devolved legislature in Belfast has been recalled at the request of First Minister Peter Robinson, who threatened to quit over the affair. Had he done so, the move would almost certainly have collapsed Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive and triggered a snap election.

'IRA' claim behind 'letter bombs' sent to British military

A group using the name of the IRA has claimed responsibility for a series of potentially viable explosive devices sent to British military recruitment centres, police said Monday. Seven crude devices were mailed to armed forces careers offices in southeast England last week. None went off or caused any injuries. British government officials said at the time that the devices bore the hallmarks of Northern Irish terror attacks. Police said on Monday that a claim had been made on behalf of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) paramilitary group.

Lithuania prosecutors appeal Real IRA acquittal

Prosecutors in Lithuania said Thursday they had appealed the acquittal of an Irishman charged with plotting to smuggle arms from the Baltic state to the Real IRA paramilitary group. The motion to the Supreme Court requests a retrial because of alleged procedural irregularities, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors, Rita Stundiene, told AFP. Michael Campbell was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2011, but an appeals court struck down the sentence in October last year.

Europe rights court says IRA membership trial was fair

A senior Irish police officer was justified in not disclosing his sources when he gave evidence that led to the conviction of an IRA suspect, the European Court of Human Rights said Thursday, ruling that the trail was fair. Kenneth Donohoe, from Dublin, was in 2004 sentenced to four years in prison by a special non-jury anti-terrorist court for membership in the illegal paramilitary Irish Republican Army.

Brother of Sinn Fein chief Adams jailed for raping daughter

The brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was on Wednesday jailed for 16 years for raping his own daughter in a case that raised questions about whether the politician could have alerted police earlier to the abuse. Liam Adams, 58, was convicted at Belfast Crown Court last month of rape and sexual abuse charges against his daughter Aine in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when she was aged between four and nine. Sentencing Liam Adams, judge Corinne Philpott told the former youth worker that he had committed the "greatest breach of trust imaginable".

Irishman jailed for arms plot denies Real IRA ties in appeal

An Irishman who is appealing his imprisonment in Lithuania for plotting to smuggle arms to the Real IRA paramilitary group on Friday insisted he had been framed by British intelligence. "I have never been a member of Real IRA or helped them any way," 40-year-old Michael Campbell said about the hardline splinter group of the IRA -- once the main armed group opposed to British rule in Northern Ireland.

Obama urges youth to make Northern Ireland peace permanent

By Roberta Rampton BELFAST (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Monday urged young people in Northern Ireland to finish making "permanent peace" and set an example to other parts of the world stricken by religious conflict, violence and war. Obama, accompanied by his wife Michelle, stopped in Belfast before leaving for the G8 summit, which is being held at a secluded lakeside hotel not far from the site of one of the worst killings in the province's conflict.
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