Tuesday, June 12, 2007


11.40am. In a matter of hours, Fianna Fail and the Greens will emerge from the depths of the Leinster House complex to tell us they have forged a deal and that they will go into government together.

I walked from here to the Luas stop at Jervis Street after work last night. It was close to 11pm. I passed the Green Party HQ on Suffolk Street and could see the lights still blazing on the fifth floor.

This morning they have resumed, putting the final touches to the draft programme for government. Dan Boyle and Noel Dempsey are working on the document while John Gormley and Seamus Brennan are working on the outstanding issues.

It was kind of funny to see the body language last night. Seamus Brennan was incredibly upbeat. He said his mood was realistic but everything else he said betrayed that. In contrast, Trevor was a bit more sombre, a bit more cautious. Still big gaps, he suggested, as it it wasn't quite a done deal.

But then at 10.30pm the Greens issued a statement that was brimming with confidence. A deal was likely. It was convening its meeting.

If it happens, I think it will be a very exciting, very brave new development for Irish politics. I think the Green tinge will give FF a badly needed sense of renewal and of rejuvenation. For a long time it was touch and go whether Bertie would get a mandate for a third term. Even after ten years, the government was beginning to have a jaded look about it. There's been a lot of talk about the influence that Greens will have in government. Sure, they will have influence. But it will be minuscule compared to the influence that FF will have. And that's the most important factor.

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