Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Why did Robinson’s Daly tribute take so long?

In the days leading up to the death of Cardinal Cahal Daly, every newspaper office was busy organising an obituary of the former leader of Ireland's Catholics.

That meant that when his death was finally announced, it was possible to slot in the article immediately.

I presume that in the Office of the First Minister at Stormont the likelihood of the Cardinal's imminent death was well-known. It would have been simple to cobble together a few words of condolence to be issued in the name of the First Minister, Peter Robinson, who is a sort of half-Prime Minister of this beknighted part of the UK.

So why didn't he issue a statement at the time? Why was it left to Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster to issue a comment? That isn't her job.

The First Minister is meant to make public comments on behalf of the whole Executive — indeed the whole political apparatus — at times like this.

In today's world of mobile phones, the internet , Twitter, e-mail and every other means of communication you can imagine, there is no excuse for being incommunicado for so long.

Poor show Peter, very poor show. Maybe you will grow into the job this year.

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