The BBC’s NI political editor, Mark Devenport notes an intriguing rumour on his blog, apparently there is some discussion about whether the NI deputy First Minister or the NI Secretary of State should represent Northern Ireland when Archbishop Sean Brady receives his Cardinal’s red hat from Pope Benedict XVI – “Needless to say Ian Paisley is otherwise engaged.” Presumably the dilemma is a result of an Irish government representative also being in attendance. ANYhoo.. Mark notes
Apparently the Deputy First [Minister] is keen to make the acquaintance of Pope Benedict XVI. But his best hope of getting to the Pope is as the BRITISH representative at the occasion. That tends to involve arriving at the Vatican in a car bedecked with a Union Jack.
My spies tell me taking a taxi is not de rigueur. If anyone spots a Stormont Skoda boarding a ferry in the coming days, it might be Martin working on an alternative solution to his papal/union flag dilemma.