Saturday 20 October 2018

The secret of Irish morality: do it when no-one's looking

They said it couldn't be done. 'Did I not say on countless occasions that the DUP would never go into power with SF?' Pictured are Bertie Ahern, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness in Belfast
They said it couldn't be done. 'Did I not say on countless occasions that the DUP would never go into power with SF?' Pictured are Bertie Ahern, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness in Belfast

The reshowing of Tommy Gorman's excellent RTE documentary about the formation of the Northern Executive obliges me to make this confession. I have absolutely no idea why I'm paid to do what I do -- for clearly, I don't understand enough about Irish life to be able to comment on any part of it.

Listen: did I not say, and on countless occasions, that the DUP would never go into power with Sinn Fein while the latter remained attached to the IRA army council?

Why, I'd have backed my certainty with the deeds of my house -- and that was even before the IRA's Castlereagh raid, which scooped the Special Branch intelligence files; the Northern Bank robbery, which netted the IRA £17 million; and the murder of Robert McCartney, with IRA involvement at the time, in the immediate aftermath, and in the continuing intimidation of both witnesses, and of Robert's sisters.

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