6/22/2005

Falling out at home and abroad?

I see Mr. Ahern has expressed his frustration in the Dáil today with the British position as regards the recent deadlock over the EU budget. The taoiseach described Blair's position as "dishonest". It is clear that there is a serious rift developing as Britian tries to asset its supermacy over the rest of Europe. Perhaps this sharp disagreement might also manifest itself in the situation in the north. History shows that relations at EU level have a great bearing on the relationship between the British and Irish governments. For example common membership of the EU was one of the driving forces behind the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Is it possible that this disagreement on Europe could extend to matters closer to home?

Hopefully this will be Bertie's cue to stop taking his lead from Blair and stop merely mimicking the British position. With tensions in Belfast rising and spreading across the city, the Dublin government needs to be prepared to protect the interests of Northern Nationalists and I hope that they are willing to face up to this challenge.

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