‘This is not the time, there may never be a time’

An excellent and well handled debate hosted by Stephen Nolan on his show this morning. It doesn’t happen often, but the cracks within Sinn Fein got a full public airing on the show. John O’Dowd was firm in telling Davy Hyland that his deselection was a result of lack of support, while Hyland was hanging it on the policing issue. On policing, Hyland made the quote I’ve used in the title, and said his end-game was an All Ireland police force. He also said that there was a ‘large swell of support for my stance throughout the country.’ O’Dowd on the other hand still believes in the magic police: as long as you tell ‘someone’ about the crime, and it gets solved, your civic duty is done. Ian Paisley Jnr claiming that Catriona Ruane and Michele Gildernew about to ‘jump ship’, and accurately pointing to the difficulties within the party. No matter what the outcome over the next few days, a very uncomfortable cat is out of the bag and Sinn Fein may never be the same.