Okay, so partitionism reigns in Leinster House. As Miriam Lord notes beyond a presser at the Plinth, there was only one mention of that handshake in the Dail yesterday…
…and that was only so Enda Kenny could deliver a vicious one-liner to a flat-footed Adams.
On the eve of the Brussels summit, he heaped scorn on the what he saw as the Taoiseach’s lack of negotiating ability, and accused him of supporting a federal Europe.
After a lengthy reply from Enda, Gerry dropped his guard and declared the Taoiseach was engaging in “extreme revisionism”. Howls of derision greeted that unintentional clanger.
“You’d know all about that!” snorted Minister Reilly. “Never in the IRA!” roared Minister Howlin.
Still on the subject of revisionism, Labour’s Alex White asked, “Are YOU shaking the queen’s hand?”
Which reminded Fine Gael’s Patrick O’Donovan of the man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales.
“Shake the hand that shook the hand..,” he carolled across the Chamber.
Gerry was not amused.
Then Enda struck.
You mentioned the phrase “extreme revisionism”, he began.“Well, this is a day of particular significance in the country and, for you, extreme revisionism is something that you could be open about now, because while we differ here on all of these political issues, there is one thing that I have in common with you…”
Gerry sat forward. “Only one?” he smirked. “Only one?”
And Enda continued: “And that is, in the context of extreme revisionism, neither you nor I were ever members of the IRA or the IRA army council.”
The chamber erupted.
Jerry Buttimer burst into applause. Pat Rabbitte, he of the polished quips, looked across at the Taoiseach, mightily impressed. Perhaps even jealous.
There was no coming back from that for Gerry. All he could manage was a wan smile.
For all the goodwill breaking out in Belfast, there was precious little of it in the Dáil.
If you want to see the exchange for yourself (minus the various asides) it’s the first item on the Oireachtas Report..
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty