Saturday 24 February 2018

North politicians not the only ones living in past

LONGING for relief from the stories of the infuriating Northern talks, I switched on to a delightful programme about the work of the late, lovable Ciaran Mac Mathuna. But even there, unpleasant realities intruded.

They emerged in a conversation between Mac Mathuna and another icon of Irish traditional music, Davy Hammond. A Belfast musician once received an award from the burgomeister (mayor) of a German city, who thought his counterpart in Belfast would be pleased to hear of the award. "Our burgomeister," the musician replied, "doesn't even know we exist."

By now, each of the two tribes knows that the other exists. They are bound together in an arrangement, arrived at after enormous pain and hard work, to govern Northern Ireland.

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