Despite the optimistic noises from some parties, RTE reports that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has told the Dáil that “he cannot see short term solutions to at least two items in the Northern Ireland peace talks unless parties significantly move their positions.”[my emphasis]
He also, effectively, rules out the possibility of any deal being reached by Friday, a day that had been, in some quarters, predicted as another ‘deadline’ – again.
Mr Ahern also told the Dáil he could not see an agreement being reached between the parties by Friday.
Unsurprisingly, neither Adams nor Paisley thought it worthwhile mentioning this in their statements to the media earlier in the day.
While it doesn’t signal an end to the current round of talks, nor the continuing efforts to seek a deal, it should sound a wake-up call to the general media who, for the most part, have been parroting meaningless soundbites without analysis.