Tuesday 23 January 2018

Why Coveney's support for Sinn Fein on Irish is a bridge too far

Cartoonist: Jim Cogan
Cartoonist: Jim Cogan
Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

I believe that if Charlie Flanagan rather than Simon Coveney had been Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sinn Fein would have been forced to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland by last Thursday's deadline.

That's because by supporting Sinn Fein's demand for a stand-alone Irish Language Act, Coveney raised Sinn Fein expectations to an excessive level that could not be met.

Supporting a key Sinn Fein demand was the culmination of a number of clangers by Coveney since he took over from Charlie Flanagan, starting with his floating the special status notion which he was forced to withdraw.

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