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Building trust will be central as Greens try at last to construct a 'deal with two devils'

John Downing


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Unholy alliance: Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Green Party leader John Gormley in 2007. Photo: Tom Burke

Unholy alliance: Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Green Party leader John Gormley in 2007. Photo: Tom Burke

Unholy alliance: Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Green Party leader John Gormley in 2007. Photo: Tom Burke

So the Green Party is about to try another "deal with the devil" - or, more accurately, "two devils" this time. Back in June 2007, Green Party stalwart Ciarán Cuffe gave that diabolical description of the party's deal to share government with Fianna Fáil.

Now you can add the other potential diabolic beast to the mix in the shape of Fine Gael. Yet this decision to open coalition talks at long last, just days short of a full three months after the General Election, is a welcome relief - not least people who know we need a stable government to deal with what is, hopefully, soon to be the coronavirus aftermath.

Last time, in June 2007, Green Party- Fianna Fáil coalition talks opened 10 days after election day. After six days of negotiations, the Green team of John Gormley, Dan Boyle and party general secretary Dónall Geoghegan abandoned the talks, believing they were not being taken seriously.