Thursday 27 April 2017

Maurice Hayes: They're off -- but decent deal faces final furlong

First Minister of the Northern Assembly Peter Robinson (left) and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Hillsborough yesterday as a deal was announced after a gruelling two weeks of talks
First Minister of the Northern Assembly Peter Robinson (left) and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Hillsborough yesterday as a deal was announced after a gruelling two weeks of talks
Maurice Hayes

Maurice Hayes

WELL, the agreement seems to have cleared all the fences in the gruelling Grand National course that was the prolonged and exhausting negotiations at Hillsborough over the past two weeks.

Despite a refusal at Beechers second time around, Peter Robinson, with fine judgment of the possibilities, an eye for an opening, and, no doubt, judicious use of the whip has managed to get his fractious mount nearly over the line -- but not quite yet.

Before the spectators throw their hats in the air, they might reflect, like many a sad punter before them, how many favourites have faltered or tired in the last furlong or so.

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