Shenanigans passed for talks
From sworn enemies to 'Chuckle Brothers' and back into the arms of their respective hard men, the tribal leadership of the North's two main political parties has once again demonstrated an inability to act in the true interests of the people they claim to represent.
The Northern Assembly, yet again, teeters on the brink of dissolution. On this occasion, the depth of outright hostility and mistrust was paraded in front of the world's media.
Ludicrous press statements from Northern Secretary Shaun Woodward that a deal was imminent simply added to the disappointment.
The bizarre sight of Martin McGuinness admonishing the DUP for not stepping up to the plate -- before the talks were fully under way -- was surely a precursor of what was to follow.
But whatever the future may hold, the shenanigans that passed for talks at Hillsborough Castle has scuppered any hope nationalists might harbour of a united Ireland.