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