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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 8, 1996)
Paula Lavigne for the DN
A man and his daughter walk by one of many pro-peace murals in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Keeping N. Ireland’s peace
Residents hope cease-fire holds
By Paula Lavigne
ELFAST, Northern Ireland
— In a crowded pub on the
south end of town, the future
of Northern Ireland buys
itself a drink.
There sit four friends — a
Catholic, two Protestants and an English- £
man — with strong opinions about the
debates that have divided their region for.
But while they sit and argue, they sit in
For 17 months, peace in Northern
Ireland meant an Irish Republican Army
That peace was shattered when the IRA
dropped its cease-fire Feb. 9 and, hours
later, bombed London’s Canary Wharf
office block. Two people died in that blast.
The bombing was followed a week later
by an IRA bus bomb, which prematurely
exploded, killing the bomber.
The nationalist paramilitary group said
it returned to violence because the British
government was stalling the peace process.
The British government cut off all contacts
with the nationalists.
Speculation then arose that the loyalist
paramilitaries would drop their cease-fire
and attack Dublin in retaliation. The peace
process was at a stalemate.
That was until two weeks ago, when
Irish Prime Minister John Bruton and
British Prime Minister John Major set
June 10 as a date for all-party talks.
They invited Sinn Fein, the political
branch of the IRA, on the condition that
the IRA reinstates the cease-fire and
agrees to elective representation for the
talks. Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein president,
said the IRA wouldn’t budge.
The other 360 days
But the four men sitting in the pub
aren’t politicians or members of a para
military group. They are just trying to do
what the other people of Northern Ireland
are trying to do.
They Te trying to lead normal lives.
Thirty-five-year-old Tom Wilkinson, a
software technical support assistant from
Derry, the second-largest city in Northern
Ireland, is one of the four friends at the
“Let’s say 360 days out of the year,
things go on as normal,” he said, “but five
days out of the year, there’s a major
bombing or shooting.
“They are five days, but they’re five
days that have an impact on the other
Almost 70 days of the new year have
gone by without a bomb in Northern
There have been punishment beatings
and other more covert acts of violence, but
nothing as full-scale as the Canary Wharf
Precautions have been taken, and
security has been increased, but it’s low
profile. People walk freely in and out of
City Hall. Shoppers aren’t searched as
they enter the stores.
At a random checkpoint, one officer
stood outside chatting to the local shop
See BELFAST on 6
Paula Lavigne for the DN
Murals bearing political opinions
dot city walls inNorthern Ireland.
Paula Lavigne, a junior news
editorial major, is a long-time
staff member of the Daily
Nebraskan. She is living in
Dublin, Ireland, this semester
and plans to return to the
By Ted Taylor
With only 20 days left in the 1996 Nebraska
legislative session, some senators agree that
they may need to speed things up to get to all the
bills on the agenda.
On Thursday, Speaker
Ron Withem of Papillion ad
dressed that issue.
“The pace certainly could
be better,” Withem said. “But
there are a lot of complex
issues before us, and they do
take some time.”
So far this session, Gov.
Ben Nelson has approved 15
bills while 50 more wait for
final reading. More than 30 bills have reached
select file — the second stage of legislation.
Lincoln Sen. Chris Beutler said the 60-day
session lent itself to a rush to debate many bills.
“It’s everyone’s concern during a short ses
sion ,” he said. “Especially when we have a huge
property tax issue to deal with.”
Withem said senators could possibly begin
full floor debate on property tax bills late next
The speaker said senators still had to debate
bills dealing with the budget, telecommunica
tions and water legislation.
** Othennajor bills still awaiting first-round
floor debate before the Legislature adjourns
April 18 include LB 13 80, which would make
abortions illegal in Nebraska when there is a
sign of life; LB927, the Athlete Agent Registra
tion bill; and LB1171, which would establish
incarceration work camps in the state.
See AGENDA on 3
to next year
By Julie Sobczyk
Eric Marintzer is no stranger to student gov
Ever since he was a sophomore at Adams
Central High School in Hastings, the junior
economics major has played a role in handling
He was even student council president his
senior year of high school.
But as ASUN’s next president, Marintzer
said he would face even bigger challenges —
such as getting more students to care about the
“Being president of student council is a far
cry from becoming student body president here,”
he said. “It’s a real honor and an awful lot of
responsibility and a lot of work.
“I’m ready for it. I’m thankful to everyone
who voted and for the opportunity to work.”
He’s also thankful to his parents, he said,
who have been a big part of his success.
“I cal led my parents last night, and they were
both very happy,” Marintzer said. “They were
pretty stressed and worried about the election.
They wanted it to turn out for the best.”
When he first planned his campaign,
Marintzer said, his parents were apprehensive
about him “undertaking all that responsibility.”
But he convinced them, he said, that he was
the right man for the job.
“It took a little pushing and prodding, but
they came around,” Marintzer said. “They were
very supportive, and they were behind me all
He began looking for student support for his
See MARINTZER on 3
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