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Ira Group Vows To Keep Talking Northern Ireland Talks Resume As Violence Escalates Again

Tue., Jan. 20, 1998

With the Northern Ireland peace process strained by three killings in two days, the IRA-allied Sinn Fein party promised Monday to stay in the talks despite its unhappiness with a settlement proposed by the British and Irish governments.

“Sinn Fein isn’t going to withdraw from the talks under any circumstances,” Martin McGuinness, the party’s chief negotiator, said after a delegation led by party President Gerry Adams met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London.

The meeting came hours after a Protestant shopkeeper was killed by an Irish Republican Army splinter group in Northern Ireland and a day after a pro-British group from the Protestant side murdered a Catholic man.

The bloodshed continued after the London talks when the Catholic manager of a taxi company in south Belfast was fatally wounded by one or two unknown gunmen.

The victim was identified as Larry Brennan, 52, who managed Enterprise Taxi. The firm had a religiously mixed staff, was based in a Protestant area and had not been targeted previously.

Police said Brennan was shot four times and died in a hospital.

Militants trying to sabotage the peace process have killed seven people since Dec. 27.

“I’m determined not to let our will be broken by these groups, these splinter groups. … They are just interested in breaking the peace talks,” Britain’s Northern Ireland secretary, Mo Mowlam, said Monday night in a British Broadcasting Corp. television interview. “I hope we will show our determination not to let them succeed.”

The peace talks resumed Monday with eight parties, including Sinn Fein, discussing a proposed legislature for Northern Ireland, one of the components of the British-Irish proposal.

Tags: Death

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