Sunday 19 February 2017

It's not an agreement if no one agrees

There's to be a new First Minister in the North, but the problems remain the same

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 22/11/2015 | 02:30

STEPPING DOWN: Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson, pictured with his wife Iris, is to retire
STEPPING DOWN: Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson, pictured with his wife Iris, is to retire

Gerry Adams must be feeling confused now that Peter Robinson has announced his retirement as DUP leader and First Minister.

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For the benefit of the Sinn Fein president, retirement is when a man has been doing the same job for far too long and decides to stop doing it.

Still confused, Gerry? No wonder. In Northern Ireland, politicians cling to power by the fingertips. Sinn Fein has had the same leader for 32 years. Robinson's predecessor, Ian Paisley, was in his role for 37 years, making Peter's seven years in charge of his party look like a mere flash in the pan.

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