‘No strings’ to Northern Ireland aid package

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A GOVERNMENT decision to make the delivery of a new economic aid package to Northern Ireland dependent on progress tackling sectarian divisions is not an attempt to blackmail the region’s politicians into action, the secretary of state has insisted.

Visiting Belfast on the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, Theresa Villiers said linking measures to boost the private sector economy with the implementation of shared future initiatives was a demonstration of how strongly Prime Minister David Cameron felt on the issue of reconciliation.

Ms Villiers, who met yesterday with community groups said great strides had been made since the historic power-sharing accord.