“If that happens, then obviously everybody has crossed the Rubicon..”

In Washington, Bertie Ahern tells the Irish Times that, “Everything along the way, every single demand, every single issue that has been put on the table has been delivered. There is only one thing left: powersharing.” Someone ought to tell the British, surely?

“The IRA campaign has ended, the weapons have been decommissioned, inclusive support for policing has been agreed and the programme of normalisation of security in Northern Ireland will be completed shortly. A great deal of valuable time has been lost since the Good Friday agreement was signed in 1998 but the restoration later this month of an inclusive powersharing executive gives real hope and represents an opportunity of historic proportions. Prime Minister Blair and I will spare no effort to secure the restoration of the institutions of shared government.”

The first two elements have (by wide assent) crossed the finishing line. We still await confirmation of the third and fourth. Bertie appears to be relying on the atmospherics to get this through on the slide (which might suit some on either side):

“I think that all of the mood music in the course of the last week or so has been good and I think that there is increasing optimism and hope that powersharing and all-Ireland institutions will be in place by the 26th of March. And if that happens, then obviously everybody has crossed the Rubicon.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Yokel

    Here Bertie’s have a set of pom poms. London calls the shots…

  • ming the merciless

    “inclusive support for policing has been agreed” – obviously no one told michelle gildernew or gerry kelly

  • James

    eh, you’re forgetting that whole loyalist paramilitaries still up to their neck in crime and haven’t decmoissioned part.
    or maybe he’s leaving that out as it might be a bit awkward for Mary McAleese’s husband next time he’s out playing golf at the K Club with Jackie McDonald…….

  • Nevin

    Whatever happened to the March 14 deadline?

    “March: Endorsement by the electorate of the St Andrews agreement.
    14 March: Members of the Executive nominated by party leaders.
    26 March: Power devolved and d’Hondt run.
    Failure to agree to establish the Executive will lead to immediate dissolution of the Assembly, as will failure to agree at any stage, and the Governments will take forward new partnership arrangements on the basis previously announced.” .. StAA.

    It didn’t make it to the StAA Bill. Was it just a bit of St Patrick’s Day/Week tokenism?

  • Spinster

    The new policing arrangements have broad community support, and a programme to normalise security is underway. Sinn Fein don’t have a single party veto on these or any arrangements. Neither should they be given one, as they are incapable of defending security responses to any resumption of irish separatist violence, and certainly not in a way that would satisfy their DUP partners in government. Having the police seen as directed by Sinn Fein would also put the PSNI at risk when tackling loyalist paramilitaries.