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[These conditions were rejected by SF.] Monday 6 January 1997 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a 'rocket' attack at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast injuring a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer in the leg.

[This approach was rejected by the SDLP on 5 January 1997.] Andrew Hunter, then Chairman of the Conservative Party's backbench committee on Northern Ireland, predicted that the "present peace process will fade away into nothing in a relatively short period of time".

In his first in-depth interview since it became public last year that a serving Church of Ireland cleric, Dean Tom Gordon, had entered a civil partnership, Bishop Miller told the News Letter that the development had created a “serious situation”.

His comments follow a victory for conservatives within the church who on Saturday secured more than two-thirds of the votes in the church’s General Synod for a motion which backed traditional marriage, despite the public opposition of two liberal bishops.

However, he said that that was “neither here nor there” as he went by the ruling of the Archbishop, whom he said had given a “wise” decision not to debate the motions, something which he said was “not in any way a political decision”.“I felt that we may not have anything to put to the synod and that worried me because when you don’t have anything to put to the synod, especially a synod that actually wants to discuss it – and the synod did want to discuss it – you create a vacuum.“And when you create a vacuum, if there are any disagreements the gulf can become wider.

So I was very exercised that the thing should be discussed at this year’s General Synod.”However, despite his unhappiness at the three motions not being debated on Thursday, Bishop Miller said he now believed that it was better to combine them in a single motion and remove the preamble which referred to the fallout from Dean Gordon’s civil partnership.“I think it was better and more than two-thirds of the synod voted for it but for those who didn’t, I have to recognise that some of them feel very strongly about it.

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