I see from the BBC report that the US State Department embedded a NI blogger to accompany US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her whistle-stop visit to Northern Ireland – at the fag-end of a European tour which itself comes at the fag-end of a world tour.. Congratulations, Terry. [Was it something we said? – Ed] Our own intermittent live coverage is here. And, whatever backroom discussions have been taking place, the US Government representative is publicly acknowledging reality on devolving policing and justice powers. From the RTE report
“Clearly there are questions and some apprehensions but I believe that due to the concerted effort of the British government, Irish government and support of friends like us in the US, that the parties understand this is a step they must take together. It will take the leaders of both communities working together to continue not only the devolution but then to make day-to-day governing a reality, and I’m confident that that is within reach.” [added emphasis]
That was the “indigenous” deal, after all – “let no-one interfere with that”. As, I’m sure, Gerry was reminding his party’s Ard Comhairle at the weekend..But with the danger of revisionism accompanying the visit, and Secretary of State Clinton’s declaration that the US ‘won’t meddle’, it’s worth remembering that previous Presidental envoys have had an active role.