Removal of Belfast “Peace Wall” is a Milestone in Peace Process

A milestone in the Northern Irish peace process was reached in September when the Belfast community welcomed the first demolition of a “peace wall,” a ten foot high barrier erected in 1989 between Springfield Road and Springhill Avenue to separate loyalist and nationalist locals, as well as to protect a nearby police station. The decision to dismantle the wall comes as part of a promise by...

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Irishman Ibrahim Halawa Acquitted After Four Years

After four years spent imprisoned in Egypt, Ibrahim Halawa, the son of Egyptian immigrants to Ireland, was acquitted of all charges relating to a 2013 political protest that descended into violence. The aquittal came as the result of a September mass trial of hundreds of prisoners detained on charges related to the protest. Halawa’s detention sparked international sympathy and outrage,...

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Referendum to be Held on Abortion

For the first time ever, a referendum will be held on whether Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion, which puts women who illegally abort their pregnancies at risk of prison terms up to 14 years, will be lifted or loosened. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced in September that the referendum vote will be held between May and June next year. The eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, passed...

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E.U. Sues Ireland Over Billions Apple Owes in Tax Revenue

Ireland is being sued by the European Union for its failure to collect a year-old bill of €13 billion (over $15 billion) from Apple, Inc. In October, the European Commission referred the country to the European Court of Justice for failing to recoup the money, which was due January 3 but will likely not be collected for another six months. The European commission presented Apple with the bill...

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Kurdish Refugee’s Croke Park Debut

History was made in Dublin’s Croke Park during the Lory Meagher Cup final in June, when the Leitrim senior hurling team took to the terrain for the first time against Warwickshire. Equally significant, however, was the presence of Iraq-born Iranian-Kurdish refugee Zemnako Moradi, who goes by Zak. It marked the first time an immigrant of that background lined out in a national GAA final. Moradi,...

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