Monday 23 October 2017

John-Paul McCarthy: Old foes have the measure of new friends

Tougher elements within unionism have a track record of using FF when it suits them.

CROSSED SWORDS: Bertie Ahern and Ian Paisley Snr
CROSSED SWORDS: Bertie Ahern and Ian Paisley Snr

John-Paul McCarthy

What are we to make of the recent rapprochement of sorts between Fianna Fail and the DUP? You will remember that both parties shared a platform at Stormont recently, in a common front against the Marie Stopes Clinic.

These intersections appeal to Fianna Fail more than the DUP, of course. Look, they say, the party of Wolfe Tone is back in business! Watching Senator Jim Walsh flanking Ian Paisley Jnr may have reminded readers of Garret FitzGerald's most revealing book, Towards a New Ireland (1972).

Though this text was nominally addressed to the anaemic Just Society faction within Fine Gael, it was really directed towards the more abrasive elements within unionism.

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