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.