An historical footnote…

An historical footnote to Pete’s larger point. Fionnuala O’Connor seems to be dropping a big heavy clanging hint in this piece on the opening of RTE’s new offices in Belfast regarding Tommie Gorman’s ‘invisible hand’ in the fate of modern Northern Irish history:

Neither the DUP nor Sinn Féin could bear sight nor sound of RTÉ personnel a few years back. Part of the revolution in attitudes is undoubtedly due to Gorman’s behind-the-scenes role in helping the DUP in particular across the line into power-sharing. The three main speakers said as much, body language more eloquent still.

Ever since Jonathan Powell’s book there has been much speculation about the existence of a back channel between the DUP and Sinn Fein, not least in a critical review from Mitchel Reiss. It has to have beeen a figure capable of sustaining such confidence, that as Frank Millar noted:

Martin McGuinness appeared so confident of his party’s secret “back channel” to the DUP at one point that he thought to stand-down Mr Powell during a key negotiation in 2004.

Certainly at the time the so called Comprehensive Agreement failed, Gorman’s analysis was about the most acute on offer at the time. If he was the ‘back channel’, he would have had the ringside seat.

So Adams’ statement of January 2007 was right. Still no change on the story from the DUP…

  • Dewi

    Mick – honestly sometimes you are as bad as all of us. Why didn’t you just post on the opening of the offices rather than ask for mischief? – Or even go a little bit further but not too much !!!

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s intriguing detail Dewi… why ignore it?

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “The John Simpson award for Journalist Believing They Are the Story goes to Tommie Gorman. Fintan O’Toole received a commendation in this category…”

  • Dewi

    What to report – what to ignore? Nos Da.

  • Dave

    If Gorman was involved in the process as a partisan then his partial reporting on it for RTE (including hagiographies passing themselves off as documentaries on some of the protagonists and is general unconditional sycophancy) is a sinister disgrace instead of just critical disgrace. RTE were the willing whores of Section 31 and were riddled with Stickie infiltration in their news department, and now they allegedly have a protagonist reporting the news. Their long and ignoble history regarding NI continues apace it seems.

  • percy

    I like the double-act, optimism and pessimism.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Dave, you intimate that ‘Stickie infiltration’ is a bad thing. Justify.

  • Dave

    Pancho, was Eoghan Harris ever a good thing? Justify. 😉

  • jone

    Surely Gorman the back channel has already been reported in explicit terms in the Indo and on Newstalk and the BBC?

  • Oilifear

    Dave – damned if they do, damned if they don’t, eh?

  • And to think that he failed to bring about an entente cordiale between Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane at the 2002 World Cup and ‘succeeded’ in the North….time will tell how permanent this success is.