Predictably enough the DUP have launched a statement in response to John Downey’s interview with the Donegal Democrat. Interestingly hye claims the arrangement was an agreement between the British and Irish governments rather than just an administrative scheme.
The timeline he gives is fascinating too:
“As far as the Unionists saying that they didn’t know about the letters, of course they knew. I got the letter in 2007, having applied through Sinn Féin in 2003, four years later the application was granted as part of an ongoing process,” he said.
He added that he received his letter a few days after the Northern Ireland assembly was set-up.
“As far as the letter is concerned this was an arrangement between the British and Irish Government and my arrest was a breach of the agreement reached between the British and Irish government,” he said.
So that would be apply through Sinn Fein in 2003 (when presumably there was no finalised arrangement), only to hear almost immediately Operation Rapid got going (and all attempts at legislated agreements had failed.
Which makes it sounds dodgier than it might finally prove to be….
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