“But we’ve had a good run..”

In [one of] his final public engagements before he officially resigns, out-going Taoiseach Bertie Ahern opened a new visitor’s centre on the site of the Battle of the Boyne with the also out-going First Minister Ian Paisley – they both wielded original 17th century swords. RTÉ has all the audio/video links you could want [and more – Ed]. And there are texts of the speeches – Bertie Ahern’s here and Ian Paisley’s here. [Adds Paisley’s full speech here, there’s some reference to religion..]. Although, apparently, Bertie would have liked another year..

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  • Dewi

    “As we say Goodbye I would repeat the following lines from an old poem to the Boyne Water, the ancient British name of which was Buvinda:”

    Interesting from Paisley the linguist.

    Seriously, excellent speech by Ahern and Paisley’s sentiments about the furure spot on.

  • Paddy

    “As we say Goodbye I would repeat the following lines from an old poem to the Boyne Water, the ancient British name of which was Buvinda”

    The ‘British’ reference was in the Irish Times version of the speech but left out when Big Ian actually gave the speech. Oversight by Mr. Paisley or attempt to avoid offence to nationalists?

  • Greenflag

    Two ex politicians ho hum- next and only business the economy.

  • Debbie

    I thought they were good scenes of these two together. They were positive images, and I think Paisley wants to be remembered in a more positive light. Didn’t read the speeches, much too tedious.

  • Mark Thompson [ http://clydesburn.blogspot.com/2008/05/paisley-ahern-boyne-and-subtle.html ] points out, this interesting point…

    In the midst of the fanfare and symbolic send-off for both men (Ahern retires today, and Paisley in a few weeks’ time) here was an interesting subtlety, which I very much doubt that the mainstream media will pick up on.

    In an excerpt from his speech reported on the BBC website, Paisley said “The killing times must be ended forever and no tolerance must be given to any who advocate their return.”

    The Killing Times [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Time] was of course the brutally murderous crescendo to the “50 Year Struggle” of the Covenanters, which was brought to an end by the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which was finally secured at the Boyne. So Paisley’s use of language – linking the Killing Times of the late 1600s with our own more recent “killing times” of terrorism, was very considered… but it’s so subtle as to only register with the informed few, some of whom I know are readers of this blog.

    However, whilst the Revolution established Presbyterianism as the “state religion” of Scotland, but it didn’t acknowledge the Covenants, and led to ongoing divisions within the Presbyterian church.

  • picador

    Lots of references to Romanists in Paisley’s speech.

  • unedo

    Watching Mr Ahern shake hands with all the sashed orangemen was the most remarkable image. I rejoice that it spells the absolute end to posturing “greener than thou politics” on the part of fianna fail. We didnt have much of it recently but now we know its passed for ever.What a blessing for those of us who lived through the opportunistic shamming of the 70s and 80s.

  • lapsedmethodist

    Big into swords these days is our Bertie, isn’t he? I wonder who he put the muscle on to get this one?
    The Meagher sword that he presented to the Yanks was taken without his having any right to do so. The sword was presented to the people of Waterford by the Meagher family and Bertie had no right at all to grab it and take it back to America.
    Everyone in Waterford who knew about it was sworn to secrecy; some people even going off for ” a weeks holiday” to keep the matter shushed up. CREEP!

  • i surprised at the difference in the two speeches, bertie was a vague waffle full of tired clichés and dull anecdotes about peace.

    paisley use of acronym of the boyne was equally awkward but he did go and on about how much his people were oppressed and details of the battles they had to fight…

  • AN Other

    lapsed methodist,

    “everyone in Waterford who knew…”

    No-one cared less down there, more like!

    Seriously, I only ever remember TFM being mentioned when I was in school in Waterford; that was during a 4th class tour around the City Walls.

    If you ask the tens of thousands of US visitors who come to the city each year about TFM (to the Waterford Crystal factory, mainly), you’ll get blank expressions – because he isn’t mentioned in any of the high-profile ones…

    …They’re more likely to have heard of Ruby’s Nightclub!!!

    There must be a full-moon tonight as Mick has two threads related-to Waterford up…:->