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Delays in transfer of policing powers hinder peace process

In one of his inimitable columns many years ago in the Irish Press, Brendan Behan described coming out of his house one morning to find a gang of Corporation workers, celebratory pints in hand, dancing round a hole in the road. They were, he was told, celebrating the seventh birthday of the hole. Behan was not only poking gentle fun at the tardy pace of public works in his native city, but, more savagely, satirising the Irish propensity to memorialise almost anything with a ritual anniversary.

I am reminded of these strictures by the constant rush to memorialise the tenth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement (the people who prefer to call it the Belfast Agreement are not so prominent in the jollifications) as if it were all done and dusted. Significantly, too, the main party now in government, not having been a party to the Agreement, is left sulking in an outer chamber.

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