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Allies: Micheál Martin’s Fianna Fáil is in the same EU political grouping as French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Ludovic Marin /Pool via REUTERS

Allies: Micheál Martin’s Fianna Fáil is in the same EU political grouping as French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Ludovic Marin /Pool via REUTERS

REUTERS

Allies: Micheál Martin’s Fianna Fáil is in the same EU political grouping as French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Ludovic Marin /Pool via REUTERS

Albert Reynolds emerged from the marathon talks with his eyes blazing: "Eight billion, Diggy, eight billion … tell that to the begrudgers. Now watch me put a government together," he announced.

The "Diggy" in question was Seán Duignan, Reynolds's press spokesman and for a long time one of RTÉ's most accomplished broadcasters.

It was 10.30pm on Saturday evening, December 12, 1992, and the end of a landmark EU leaders' summit chaired by then-UK prime minister John Major in Edinburgh.