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Shortland St Interrupted For Irish Peace

For the first time in 25 years Northern Ireland has taken control of its own affairs with power being devolved from London at midnight local time (1pm Thursday NZ time).

The formation of the Northern Assembly, over two and half years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, sees a former IRA chief of staff sit in a cabinet with members of Rev Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party.

Once bitter enemies, and some still bitter enemies, are now charged with working together to bring peace and prosperity to the region.

The Irish Government will this morning sign a declaration to remove Articles 2 and 3 of the Republic's Constitution (calling for a united Ireland and stating that the Republic has jurisdiction over the six counties in the north). The IRA is due to appoint an interlocutor to the decommissioning body later today.

Today in Ireland they interupted Shortland Street to bring live coverage of the parties nominating their ministers.

For only the second time ever the Irish Times has put an editorial on the front page headed "Birth of a New Ireland."

In other Irish news the Irish Government announced its budget today spreading £900m (NZ$2,250m) worth of spoils from the Celtic tiger.

The top tax rate was reduced from 46% to 44% and the lower rate from 24% to 22%.




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