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Letters that bring us little comfort ...

They say that when two people know something it's no longer a secret. How amazing then that the whole issue of the letters to the OTRs was kept under wraps for so long.

At the very least well over 200 people knew about this. Those who got the letters, those who sent them, those who gave the green light for them to be sent ...

Some argue that all this was in the public domain – if you knew where to look. But did, say, Messrs Hain (above), Blair and Mandelson all of whom have written books talking up their role in our process make mention therein of the scheme? And who are all our men (and women) of letters? Shouldn't we be told.

"Comfort letters" is the phrase used. Not much comfort for the rest of us, though, as we ponder what else aren't they telling us?

Belfast Telegraph