Wednesday 17 January 2018

There's far more to Bertie's legacy than the dig-outs

Any analysis must also weigh up Ahern's crucial role in our constitutional maturation, writes John-Paul McCarthy

TV3's panel discussion last week on the peace process retold some old stories that had already been beaten into the metal of the historical thoroughfare.

Martin Mansergh suggested again that Charles Haughey initiated the whole peace process dynamic after 1990. Readers may like to know though that Haughey's last words on Northern Ireland are to be found in Justin O'Brien's book, The Modern Prince where Haughey (albeit anonymously) dismissed the consent principle as a trouble of fools.

Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey offered a few euphemistic reflections on the failure of certain parties to maximise the potential of the process. When decoded, this was just the old PIRA line about David Trimble's failure "to sell the agreement", an analysis that fails to mention the fact that Maskey's own party never actually signed the Good Friday Agreement on the day it was finalised, and that Trimble's commitment to the process ultimately destroyed him.

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