DUP councillor Robin Stirling – possibly the loudest expression of the party’s “spiritual wing” – could never be described as a man who minces his words. But has the hardline unionist expositor had a change of heart about all things Irish? According to the Sunday Times, Stirling particularly enjoys Dublin’s bookshops and libraries. “To me, it’s a different country,” he said. “And this difference is refreshing.” Ah, but then in the Council debate on the Dublin riots, Cllr Stirling went on to slam the Pope for nurturing what he called ‘vile anti-Protestantism’: “What mechanism of indoctrination is responsible for this vile anti-Protestantism? The utterances of bigoted Roman catholic clerics comes to mind. The present Pope, the former Cardinal Ratzinger, claimed the Reformed Churches had no spiritual validity.” Normal service is resumed. Phew!