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Alex Kane

The mask slips: Micheal Martin picked an odd time to have a pop at unionists

Alex Kane



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Micheal Martin

Micheal Martin

Mr Martin, First Minister Arlene Foster, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill in Dublin Castle for the first summit of the North South Ministerial Council

Mr Martin, First Minister Arlene Foster, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill in Dublin Castle for the first summit of the North South Ministerial Council

Micheal Martin

It all seemed to be going so well. The North South Ministerial Council on July 31 (the first plenary session in almost four years) had been civil and useful, with both sides pleased about progress on the response to Covid-19, New Decade, New Approach commitments and dealing with the implications of the UK's withdrawal from the EU in a few months' time.

There wasn't a peep from Micheal Martin about the Shared Ireland Unit (SIU) in the Irish Government's Programme for Government, leading Arlene Foster to say: "It does not threaten our constitutional position, or what we believe in, so I don't feel threatened at all by the unit."

The day ended - as all these events are meant to end - with smiles, a socially-distanced photo opportunity, a promise to see you all soon and a fairly bland joint communiqué.