It's now just after 1pm. Already this morning the Tánaiste has given an extraordinary press conference. He seems to be putting out a line that can't be maintain. After the Sunday newspapers mostly speculated the PDs would pull out of Government, his press people started texting the media at 9am saying there was a press conference at 10.30 and to expect a surprise.
The surprise was that the PDs were staying in Government. McDowell said it would be futile and an exercise in optics for the PDs to pull out at this stage. He said that the Taoiseach's account to him last autumn was partial but refused to say that he had lied or had not told him the full truth. He then said that a full statement would be needed by the Taoiseach before election day. The problem was that there was not no 'or else' clause attached. They won't, and can't, do anything if Bertie Ahern refuses to make a full statement.
The PDs are left in an invidious position. If they pull out, they will be pounced upon. The other parties will ask: why vote for them if they are not going to get into any government? But by staying in, they are also going to find themselves under fire.
Has Michael McDowell led with his feet again - and is he now suffering the consequences.
FF respond at 3pm. It's incredible stuff.