The Price Of Peace

Catholics and protestants in Northern Ireland have seen peace deals fall apart time and again. But when the latest push for a final settlement between nationalists and unionists ran aground last week, it was due to a novel deal breaker: a $50 million bank heist.

Ulster's Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, announced Friday that he believed the brazen Dec. 20 robbery from the Belfast headquarters of Northern Bank had been the work of the I.R.A. — a statement that immediately derailed a power-sharing deal that had seemed close to a positive conclusion just weeks earlier.


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