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    Republican Official Slams British Military Exercise in Northern Ireland as ‘Backward Step’

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    The decision to hold a large scale British military exercise in Northern Ireland's Binevenagh, County Derry, was described as a "backward step" by a Sinn Féin (Irish republican political party) member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

    DERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND, September 22 (RIA Novosti) - The decision to hold a large scale British military exercise in Northern Ireland's Binevenagh, County Derry, was described as a "backward step" by a Sinn Féin (Irish republican political party) member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

    "The decision by the British army to hold large scale war games in Binevenagh is a backward step," Cathal Ó hOisín said in a statement, calling for a complete demilitarization of Northern Ireland.

    "We want to see demilitarization in all its forms, with no exceptions, and this decision flies in the face of that," Ó hOisín said.

    His comments come as Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew warned at a British Labour Party Conference fringe meeting that the Anglo-Irish peace process was in an "untenable" position.

    "At present, our political process is in a perilous – I would actually say untenable – position," Gildernew told Labour Party delegates Monday, adding that "Over the last two years, political unionism has clearly moved into an anti-[peace] Agreement mode."

    Last Friday, the President of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams, called for a border poll to be conducted in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to decide on "Irish Unity or continued partition."

    The statement came after the results of the independence referendum held in Scotland on September 18 were announced. The Scots voted against separation from the United Kingdom.

    Ireland was separated into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by an act of the British parliament in 1921. In 1922, Southern Ireland became the Irish Free State, which in turn became the independent Republic of Ireland in 1948. Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom.

    Tags:
    military drills, Labour Party, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
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