Danger signals for 'deal'

What had been promoted, in some reports, as the SF Ard Chomhairle’s ‘decision’ meeting on the governments’ proposals, has turned out to be nothing more than another ‘briefing’ by their party president.

But the alarm bells will be ringing in government, and DUP, circles following the statement by Gerry Adams that, on decommissioning, “he was not in a position to go to the IRA because no final deal had been reached”. That’s a tacit, and public, claim that the IRA have made no firm commitment yet on decommissioning, which the DUP have placed as their first requirement for any deal.

The prospect of the DUP taking the first step, at least publicly, and making a decision at their meeting tomorrow, in those circumstances, is looking less likely.

  • Mick Fealty

    “We don’t see this running on for more than a matter of days”. Now where have I heard that before?

  • peteb

    It’s deja vu all over again, Mick.

  • George

    Gerry Adams excelling himself again:

    Speaking in Dublin this morning, he said that agreement was needed “in the next very short while”.

    He said of the DUP: “If they do not come up to the plate on all of this, the British and Irish governments need to move ahead.

    “They (DUP) cannot be given forever.”

    “The DUP will either come up with the commitment to allow the process to move ahead, or the process will not move ahead.”

  • Stephen Warke

    The DUP will not make the first move because that would be to do the same as trimble did and we know how many times the DUP have castigated David Trimble for showing up the Republican movement time affter time after time.

    Robinson has said he will not make the same mistakes as Trimble, therefore we can assume that the DUP will not make the first step.

    As i thought, the DUP lack the courage and ability to hang in there and get a deal…

    So much for the fair deal we were promised…

  • peteb


    There are two parties playing [headless] political chicken here.

  • Young Fogey

    Oh, for God’s sake, just get on with it…

  • Warm Storage

    Is this doom and gloom not a bit premature?

    Ten times bitten, eleven times shy, I know, but to interpret Gerry Adams’s words that he is “not in a position to go to the IRA because no final deal had been reached” is hardly alarming nor does it imply that no firm commitment on decomissioning has been made by the Provos. Far be it from me to attempt to let the Provos off the hook, but PA reports — or like the BBC, paraphrases — Adams slightly differently:

    “The Sinn Fein leader reiterated that his party’s focus was to get a comprehensive agreement and bring it to the leaders of the IRA.”

    I think we all may have heard this, oh, once or twice before, but is it not the case that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”?

  • peteb

    Warm storage

    Listen to the report when it’s repeated later, the BBC report is closer to what Adams actually said than the PA report.

    The point remains, despite the paraphrasing, that, for the DUP, it’s a stated prerequisite for a deal that the IRA give a firm commitment on decommissioning. What Adams has done is more than simply to pass the buck along, the clear implication of his statement is that even if SF and the DUP agree. He will maintain the SF stance of having to seek approval elsewhere.

  • Mick Fealty

    Spot on WS!

    I don’t agree this is ‘headless chicken’. Reading between various lines, let’s assume (dangerous, I know) there is substantial agreement on all but one issue – decommissioning.

    It’s simple: the Democratic Unionists have little room for flexibility on the substance of this. If is offered in concrete terms, it’s hard to see what’s in their manefesto that stops them from dealing – bar a fit of picque on the part of their leader.

    This looks like a weekend job to me.

  • peteb

    Without that firm commitment on decommissioning Mick, which Adams has now put back til after the DUP say ‘yes’, it’s difficult to see the DUP saying anything other than ‘not yet’.

  • davidbrew

    “Robinson has said he will not make the same mistakes as Trimble, therefore we can assume that the DUP will not make the first step.

    As i thought, the DUP lack the courage and ability to hang in there and get a deal…” says a child

    good to see the UUP lemmings at it again- “We know we made mistakes. We’ll blame them for not repeating our mistakes!” If you can’t see that the reason the mistakes aren’t being repeated is precisely because the DUP are hanging in there, you probably think Esmond Birnies’s the next James Bond

  • Stephen Warke


    One i am not a child, that would be playing the man which is not acceptable but typically a DUP tactic.

    Your taking me completely out of context, the problem is after today thew ball is completely and utterly in the DUP’s court and they’re beginning to wobble, the tell tale signs are there, Paisley’s getting figety, Robinson’s getting anxious and Jeffrey’s been there done it and got the t-shirt so he knows how to handle negotiations, just a pity he’s accepted the Joint Declaration in relation to the RIR but thats another thread entirely.

    As far as im Esmond Birnie hasnt changed his name, and sad to say Robinson hasnt turned out to be the saviour of the Unionist people that he promised last November.

    So Mr. Brewster, i recommend you help your DUP colleagues keep the grassroots quiet and keep the valium handy because the Executive might need it on Friday night, thats if thr DUP havent buckled and/or thrown in the towel by then!

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m afraid DaveBrew’s right on this. Hangin in there is the name of the game. It really doesn’t matter what each party appears to do, it’s what it does do in the end that counts.

    Both parties are driven by strategy: relatively strong strategies developed over a considerable period of time. I don’t expect either will walk away from this without something they can bring back to their respective communities.

    And that also means being in a position to field difficult questions from the press as well as answering what internal dissent there may be left after the multitudes of internal consultations.

    Just try not to go to sleep over the weekend!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    If part of the deal is as Mark Durkan states ie the power to veto, this will be a massive climbdown by SF. Virtually impossible to sell in my opinion and a welcome fillip for the SDLP when they need it most.