As Mick has noted, the bombast level appears to be stuck at 11. But the Taioseach wasn’t slow in responding to the ‘come and get us’ demand – “The one thing we don’t do in our kind of politics is go around picking up people off the streets, that’s other political people do that” – Ouch.
The Irish Times covers the same ground, Ahern ridicules claims by Adams on criminality
As Mr Adams said he wanted to meet the Taoiseach as soon as possible to try to calm the fevered political atmosphere, Mr Ahern went on the offensive to describe Sinn Féin’s repeated denial of IRA involvement in the robbery and other crimes as “senseless”.
A day after the Independent Monitoring Commission report led to renewed tensions between the Government and Sinn Féin, Mr Ahern dismissed Mr Adams’s claim that he should arrest the Sinn Féin president for involvement in the robbery.
At a Fianna Fáil function in Naas, Co Kildare, he said the law of the land did not allow him to arrest anyone.
“I just want to get on with it. I think all of this thing is a little bit childish, a bit of nonsense. There are serous matters that have happened and it’s no good people letting on that they didn’t. That’s silly,” he said.
Mr Ahern said that the IRA’s involvement in crimes set out in the IMC report was a matter of fact and had been corroborated by the Garda, the PSNI and the British government.
“They’ve happened. We knew they’ve happened. And all we want to do is get to the end of it and get on with implementing the Good Friday agreement,” he said.
“Letting on that the other cigarettes weren’t taken, or that the drink wasn’t taken, or the petrol wasn’t taken, or the punishment beatings didn’t happen, sure that’s kind of childish stuff and, I mean, all we were stating were facts.”
Even more pointed was the quote attributed to a spokesman for the Taoiseach in this UTV report –
“Anybody familiar with the rule of law in this country would know well that the Taoiseach has no power to direct the arrest of anyone.”[my emphasis]
And so it continues, with Adams calling for “clear the air talks”, and, in this RTE report claiming that the issue at the heart of the current problem was – “Sinn Féin’s radical political alternative”.. although.. wasn’t that radical alternative what Bertie was referring to?
Meanwhile, those questions haven’t gone away you know