Thursday 27 July 2017

'One-page man' was 
no provincial bumpkin 
but an arch-pragmatist

Albert Reynolds
Albert Reynolds
John Downing

John Downing

ALBERT Reynolds's greeting to the German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, at the EU summit building in Edinburgh sounded rather like: "How're ye, Helmet!"

The widely recounted anecdote in December 1992 was an example of how some snoots liked to denigrate Albert Reynolds as something of a provincial bumpkin. In reality it said far more about a man who treated everybody he encountered with the same respect and affability.

The story mirrored the widely-spread cant about Albert Reynolds as a "one-page" man. It is true that he favoured a quick summary of the most complex of issues, and EU matters were a very good example of this.

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