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Bertie a wasted national asset in Northern Ireland impasse

Shane Ross


The true voice of Irish nationalism is hard to find in megaphone diplomacy between Ireland and the UK

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Former taoiseach, Bertie Ahern

Former taoiseach, Bertie Ahern

Former taoiseach, Bertie Ahern

So, where lies the true voice of Irish nationalism? It must be difficult for Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Ursula v on der Leyen to identify who speaks for the nationalist cause today. It was easy in the good old days when John Hume was alive. What Hume said was gospel. Nationalist Ireland genuflected. The outside world knew Dublin would fall into line.

No longer. Nationalist Ireland was in a muddle last week. It has far too many leaders. On Thursday evening, Micheál Martin was pontificating about the need for protocol pragmatism on CNN, while Mary Lou McDonald was playing far more militant mood music in a 20-minute interview with Beth Rigby on Sky News. God knows what lengthy words of wisdom Simon Coveney was whispering in the ear of Ireland’s latest British bete noire, UK’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, when they met in Turin.


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