It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of yesterday’s decision of Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein to support and cooperate with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.  This was one of two roadblocks prohibiting northern Ireland from governing itself instead of being governed from London The other roadblock is the refusal of Ian Paisley’s party to share the government of Ulster with Sinn Fein.  Now thatSinn Fein has compromised on the police there are high hopes that Paisley will compromise on the government.  That would open the way in early March for a new government in northern Ireland.  This breakthrough could settle the administration in Ulster for years, if not generations to come.

       Manykey figures played a role in this – Bertie Ahearn, Gerry Adams, Bill Clinton and right at the top I would put Tony Blair.  Over the last ten years he has invested an enormous amount of political capital in the Irish question.  I expect that high in Blair’s legacy will be the great work he did in Ireland.



  1. 1
    Cate McB Says:

    Let’s hope that Paisley does compromise and that for both sides, the support and cooperation is real. Cate McB.

  2. 2
    Trouffel Says:

    I would say that Ian Paisley is not a man accustomed to compromise and that the importance of progress needs to be expressed in very plain terms. That this is a pivotal issue illustrates there’s still a lot of work to be done. Paisley afterall enjoys a considerable share of the unionist vote and so represents a significant demographic in Ulster.

    I admire your optimism but it’s a bit early for back slapping yet. I agree that this has been a very positive aspect of Tony Blair’s term of office though I doubt his government had the political capital not to pursue the road to peace, given the dogmatic quagmire that NIrish politics had become.

  3. 3
    jim Says:

    Paisley saying or doing anything positive has as much chance as the Pope eloping. Jim

  4. 4
    blin Says:

    the legacy: a comedy of terrors
    Great new E-novel, free of charge.
    The consequences of unchecked governance, when the ridiculous becomes the sublime.
    Please use recycled paper.

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