What now, Taoiseach?

Today’s Irish Examiner editorial makes the valid point that, having made his position on who was responsible for the robbery clear, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s authority and credibility are now on the line – “TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern’s unequivocal claim that Sinn Féin leaders knew during recent power-sharing talks the IRA was planning the £26.5 million Belfast bank heist will count for nothing unless he is prepared to impose sanctions”Full editorial:

“TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern’s unequivocal claim that Sinn Féin leaders knew during recent power-sharing talks the IRA was planning the £26.5 million Belfast bank heist will count for nothing unless he is prepared to impose sanctions.

Otherwise, what is the point of saying “this was a Provisional IRA job” or that it was “known to the political leadership”.

Apart from being upset to learn the leaders were aware of those plans at a time when he was engaged in intensive talks with them, Mr Ahern insists the priority must be to keep the peace process going.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair concedes that unionists are justified in refusing to share power with Sinn Féin unless there is an end to paramilitary activity.

Where does the Taoiseach draw the line?

By claiming the raid was known to senior politicians in the republican movement, he has imputed the guilt by association of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in both kidnapping and the biggest robbery ever committed on these islands.

Will he go on talking if that happens in the Republic? The Taoiseach should stop sitting on the fence and do some tough talking for a change.”

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