Monday, December 19, 2005

Bertie's magical mystery tour

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on the allegations of a Sinn Fein spying ring at Stormont and the unveiling a 20 year British agent in their ranks there:

bewilderment and confusion ... totally sceptical about [] the police raid on Stormont which was reported to have discovered a major IRA operation ... That film piece that they still show of all of the storm troopers charging up the stairs with heavy armoury to collect a few files, and to arrest a few people. It never added up ... I've never been happy with it ... Mr Ahern insisted he did not have any insight into what had transpired during the day. "All I know is that the chap who is running the Sinn Féin office up there turned out to be a spy." ... He said he was confused about the fact that one minute Mr Donaldson was being told by the security forces that his life was in danger "and the next minute he's coming down to RTÉ . . . This spy drove from Belfast to Dublin to be interviewed by Charlie Bird. He's obviously stopped being a spy. So it sounds extraordinary." ... It is a confusing state of affairs and if all of this proves to be true it would be a serious concern but we have to wait and see what really is the position."

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on the use of Shannon airport for rendition flights:

Mr Ahern said the Government had received repeated assurances from the US authorities, including from secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, as late as last week. "The US secretary of state, whom we all agree is one of the most senior people in the administration after the president and vice-president, has given us that assurance. In the position I hold, I must accept that."

If only Tony Blair and Peter Hain had the clarity of Condi Rice!

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