Lise Hand: Martin, Peter and the hand of history -- just don't ask them to shake on it
Published 06/02/2010 | 05:00
Dawn wasn't even close to breaking yesterday morning when the Taoiseach was strapped into Bifforce One and winged at warp speed to Northern Ireland. It was still dark when he landed, but the British prime minister was already there before him with his armour-plated Range Rover revved up and ready to roll.
The two leaders were hell-bent on hustling to Hillsborough before the dithering DUP or slippery Sinn Fein conjured up yet another reason to further postpone peace in our time. Last week, Brian Cowen and Gordon Brown hot-footed it to the North, expecting to feel the hand of history on both their shoulders, only to retire thwarted after being shown the middle digit instead.
But this time it wasn't a case of tarnation once again as another done deal bit the dust at the 11th hour. At 8.15am, Brian and Gordon swept through the castle gates, and less than an hour later had shepherded the North's First Minister Peter Robinson and his deputy, Martin McGuinness, out in front of the media before they had time to change their minds.