Monday, June 11, 2007


It's 8.25pm. A small piece of geography first. There are two entrances to Leinster House, one on Kildare Street and one on Merrion Street. Kildare Street is the front entrance. But the Merrion Street entrance is where Government Buildings are. I'll come back to this in a mo.

Bertie Ahern and Trevor Sargent have been closeted in Government Buildings for an hour now, trying to see if they can find some agreement on the contentious issues. We have already had four final deadlines, so nobody will be too surprised if it slips onto tomorrow.

The Greens have been around all afternoon. John Gormley cycled home about 45 minutes ago to change his shirt. Ciaran Cuffe had to go home to mind his kids. Dan Boyle put the state of play of negotiations best when we bumped into him at the Plinth at the front of Leinster House.

"Close but no cigar."

We will know very soon if there's a Government, or at least one that involves the Greens.

So why the intro about the two entrances.

Well, here are the likely scenarios:

If the Greens do strike a deal, then Bertie Ahern and Trevor Sargent will walk shoulder to shoulder out from Government Buildings on the Merrion Street side.

If there is no deal, then Trevor Sargent will lead the Greens out the front entrance of Leinster House on the Kildare Street side.

Reporters who are camping out awaiting development face a kind of Hobson's choice. If they are pessimists they will hang around the Kildare Street side; while the optimists have gravitated over to the Merrion Street side.

Wish everthing in politics could be as clear-cut as that choice!

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