Sinn Fein: you've had our last word?

A last move, exasperation at Paisley’s sackcloth and ashes remark or a piece of canny brinkmanship? It won’t be the end of the process, nothing has so far shaken it’s general trajectory towards a deal, but it may signal the beginning of the end of this particular flurry.

With each one of these unconsummated ‘deals’, the details holding the two parties apart become ever smaller and less substantial. Long term watchers of Northern Ireland will take heart from that, even if, in the words of one particularly cynical outsider, it only looks like the latest incident of ‘throwing the toys out of the pram.’

And still that fat lady refuses to sing. It ain’t over till it’s over!

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