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It's a titanic task but Micheál and Leo need to steer straight into the Sinn Féin iceberg

Jason O'Mahony


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End of the debate: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar must show they have the courage to take on their own parties. Photo: PA

End of the debate: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar must show they have the courage to take on their own parties. Photo: PA

End of the debate: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar must show they have the courage to take on their own parties. Photo: PA

I'm a great fan of the historical counterfactual. What if the Nazis won World War II, or if John Fitzgerald Kennedy had lived? A favourite what-if of mine is this: what would have happened if First Officer William Murdoch had ordered the Titanic to ram the iceberg head on?

Engineers are divided as to what the outcome would have been. Some suggest that it would have contained the damage to the forward compartments and kept the ship afloat longer, possibly until rescue arrived. Others say that such a jarring impact would have sent an energy-wave straight down the ship, damaging compartments and ripping open seams and rivets, and perhaps causing the ship to sink even faster.

We will never know.