No forward planning on the Colombia question?

I’m struggling a bit with the Colombia three story. Some months ago we posed a question as to what might happen when they returned to Dublin. It seems that this took most of the Dublin political (and to a lesser extent journalistic) establishment by surprise. Today in the Irish Times Davy Adams argues (subs required) that most of the recent Sinn Fein moves have been aimed at undermining the integrity of the Taoiseach:

In claiming to have a personal commitment from Bertie Ahern on speaking rights in the Dáil for Northern Ireland’s MPs and MEPs, Gerry Adams deliberately raised suspicions of secret deals having been done in advance of the IRA statement. This led to questions being asked regarding the nature and, indeed, the purpose of a series of private meetings involving Adams and Ahern. By the time a Sinn Féin spokesman belatedly acknowledged that the Taoiseach was correct in his denials, the ground had been laid for the next, far more serious, assault on Bertie Ahern’s integrity.

It’s worth looking Pete’s recent post on Ahern’s more than two year old commitment to look at the issue in the context of Seanad reform. He also argues that the return of the Columbia Three has put the Republic in diplomatic hot water with President Bush. Althou

  • peteb

    Mick

    Another recent post worth looking at.. IMHO.. is this one – “manipulating public opinion”

  • Fanny

    Agree with his politics or not, there’s no denying that after a shaky start Davy Adams has turned out to be one hell of a good writer.

  • mickhall

    Fanny,

    I agree with you on Davy Adams writing, I was reading some of his stuff last night and whilst not agreeing with his political stance, it was good work, very thoughtful. I think it is great that another articulate voice has emerged from working class loyalism. If anything out of all the communities in the north, working class loyalism has come out of the ‘troubles’ the most empty handed. Yes they must take some responsibility for this by mortgaging their future to thugs as epitomized by John Adair. but im, without being patronizing convinced if they can get the cancer out of their communities they have much to offer.

    Best regards.

  • Fanny

    Davy Adams’ reward from loyalism for his thoughtfulness, of course, has been death threats. Like Newton Emerson in yesterday’s Irish News, it seems that whenever any unionist actually sits down and thinks about loyalism rationally the only conclusion they can draw is that it has to be forcibly put out of business once and for all.

  • Nic

    First the SDLP Leadership, then the UUP Leadership, and now the FF Leadership – SF have picked them off one by one.
    The amazing thing is that an otherwise astute manipulator such as Ahern has fallen for this MO having seen it at least twice before. The “match point” (or at least “break point”) moment IMHO came with the “crisis” last autumn-winter-spring. SF were at their political weakest after a selection of unplanned PR disasters, and it was Ahern’s oppurtunity to capitalise particularly on the McCartney sisters high profile in the States and take charge of the agenda. For some reason, Ahern bottled it by showing he would continue to “negotiate” regardless of what SF got up to, and regardless of what Irish public opinion was telling him would be rewarded. Holding these meetings in secret was an act of extraordinary political recklessness. From that moment on, he was doomed.
    The IRA calmly led him into the parlour and then made a laughing stock of him to his face.
    He has no sympathy from me. Ahern’s a big boy and it was his decision to hold secret political talks with violent republicans, use his contacts with major newspaper editors to hype an empty statement before it arrived and then wave it around like Neville Chamberlain after the Munich Agreement in 1938 when it arrived in all it’s meaninglessness. And we all know how that turned out.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    It’s a poor reflection on Unionism and by extension, the Unionist community at large that individuals such as David Adams have been pushed to the margins and have seemingly little to contribute except well-thought out rational newspaper articles.