From Irish Political Review: June 2007

Editorial Commentary

Albert Reynolds…

added to the pressure on Bertie Ahern by blaming him for the break-up of his Coalition Government with Dick Spring's Labour in November 1994 by allegedly failing to pass a crucial file on to him (IT 10.5.07).

Harry Whelehan… Albert Reynolds' Attorney General—who brought the X-Case and whose legal ambitions helped to sour relations within the Reynolds/Spring Government is currently working as a Barrister. Though repeatedly recommended for judicial promotion by the Judicial Appointments Board, he has never been promoted (SI 20.5.07).
"NI State":

Peter Hain promoted the illusion that the NI Executive has real political control when he urged it "to stop contemplating its navel and start facing the world with confidence" (IN 5.5.07).
Ian Paisley jnr, while looking forward to cooperation with Dublin on the basis of "mutual respect", declared that SF "must accept the legitimacy of the state" (IN, SF Must Accept Northern State Says Paisley jnr).

Martin McGuinness… now Deputy First Minister in NI, has said
"The only piece of legislation the Nationalist Party got passed in this building [Stormont] was the Wild Birds Act in all the time that they were here… Now I'm walking into an administration with five Sinn Féin ministers and an SDLP minister—well capable of putting in place all sorts of legislation and taking all sorts of very important decisions in the interests of not just republicans and nationalists but everyday within the community. So what was 800 years of British involvement in Ireland all about?" (IT 7.5.07).

Jim Gibney, the former SF Press Officer, highlighted in his IN column how BBC interviewers were attempting to disrupt the new Power-Sharing Executive by questions and analysis "locked into old battles and prejudices". He asked "On whose behalf are these questions being asked?" (3.5.07).
Andrew Colman, BBC NI Head of News and Current Affairs, replied in a letter on 9th May, claiming that the "duty of a free press" included "asking difficult questions.

Brian Feeney… in The Writing Is On The Wall For 'Britishness' (IN 2.5.07) suggested that, in accepting the new Executive, "they have also voted for structures which emphasise their separatedness from Britain, that point them towards the rest of the people on the island they live on?" He added, "…Can it be long before unionists support SF's demand for representation in the Dail?"
Messines: Martina Anderson is to travel to Belgium in June, as part of a cross-community peace initiative, marking the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Messines, in which the 16th Irish and 36th Ulster Division fought together for the first time.
Political Policing: The PSNI rejected SF's charge that its prosecution of Brian Arthurs, a builder of Dungannon for money-laundering. Police said that it was part of a mortgages investment investigation (IT 24.5.07).
Le Monde… journalists voted to oust the director of the paper. Unlike the Irish Times, which is controlled by an Oath-bound directory sworn to keep its proceedings secret, the journalists and other stakeholders in Le Monde have real power and operate in a transparent manner (IT 24.5.07).

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