In comparison with the Irish Voice editorial I noted yesterday, in today’s Irish Times Niall O’Dowd dials down, somewhat, the ad hominem approach in another response to Niall Stanage’s article. He’s repeating his claim that the US administration’s non-appointment of a political envoy to Northern Ireland is actually “a huge step up” – rather than NI simply becoming another issue within the normal remit of the US Secretary of State. An issue that the US Secretary of State, herself, says is “really up to the parties themselves, and certainly in consultation with the British Government and, to a lesser extent, the Irish government”. I guess Niall O’Dowd will definitely not be joining Máirtín’s media rumpus then. But, to repeat myself, the key to understanding the previous mis-briefings is that this represents a climb-down by Hillary Clinton from her previously stated position noted by Brian, and an acceptance of the position as stated by Barack Obama [pdf file] – “that the crisis period for Northern Ireland has passed and that the people of Northern Ireland are now in charge of their own destiny” – which caused such outrage at the time amongst certain Irish-American lobbyists. In particular, the Clinton-supporting Niall ODowd.
Irish Voice publisher Niall ODowd, who supported Mrs Clinton in the Democratic primaries, said the statement was unclear but warned that any weakening of US input in the North would be “completely unacceptable” to Irish-Americans. “A special envoy continues to be vital and necessary,” he said. “Wholehearted American support and involvement will also be vital in resolving the upcoming issues of policing and devolution.”