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Meeting of political minds from the Republic and Northern Ireland was a bit like renewing pleasantries with the in-laws

Senan Molony


Politeness was the order of the day, even if Arlene couldn’t resist some micro-aggressive commentary

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First Minister Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Damien Eagers/PA)

First Minister Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Damien Eagers/PA)

First Minister Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Damien Eagers/PA)

In the morning warmth they walked relaxedly, in couples and knots, suits and dresses, as if bound for a country chapel and the making of vows.

Well dressed, shiny-shoed and smiling, men and women teetered over the sloping cobbles at Dublin Castle, hoping not to trip and fall headlong. Except there was no single photographer you could persuade not to make a print in such a case, but a whole bank of them, clicking away.

That was one reason for keeping a fixed grin and moving gingerly at the North-South Ministerial Council, while pretending that everything was not in the least bit awkward. The other reason, of course, is that we've all been there... mixing with the ‘other side’ at a nuptials while not having anything in common.