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Collins and Dev on the same wall could be more than just a clue about things to come

John Downing


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Close ties: Leo Varadkar (left) talks with Micheál Martin inside the Convention Centre in Dublin. Photo: Maxwells

Close ties: Leo Varadkar (left) talks with Micheál Martin inside the Convention Centre in Dublin. Photo: Maxwells

Close ties: Leo Varadkar (left) talks with Micheál Martin inside the Convention Centre in Dublin. Photo: Maxwells

So anyone for a merger? Maybe Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, as they sit in Cabinet together today for their first serious working session, should now go the whole hog.

On Saturday then-Taoiseach-soon-to-be Tánaiste Leo Varadkar noted the ending of the Civil War inside the Dáil - decades after it had ended in Irish life more generally. Mr Varadkar had already packed his portrait of Michael Collins as he vacated the Taoiseach's office in Government Buildings.

Today we learn that his successor, Micheál Martin, will find space on his new office wall for portraits of both Anglo Irish Treaty conflict emblematic characters, Éamon de Valera and Michael Collins.  Coronavirus trauma, and Green Party show-stealing in painfully slow coalition-making moves, blunted many people's appreciation of the history associated with the sharing of cabinet seats between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.