Simon says…No. – by Michael Lagan

The first solid sign of defiance noted since that earth-moving debate on the Claire Byrne show, was Simon Coveney declining to nominate a representative to help organise Centenary events.  This is bigger than some might think.  Is Secretary of State Brandon Lewis so out of touch with the UK’s closest neighbour, Ireland that he thought the Irish government would actually nominate someone to help organise events to celebrate the partition of the island of Ireland?

From the British government’s point of view, I’m sure they felt the likes of Micheál Martin and Simon Coveney would be more than happy to facilitate events to commemorate partition when we look at their form prior to the debate.  However, with the DUP’s contribution to the unity conversation being nothing but throw- away threats and Jamie Bryson’s contribution nothing but babble, the NIO may have underestimated the effect that debate on the Claire Byrne show has had on the Irish government and the way they have been forced to react to rising unity sentiments in the South and rising Protocol tensions in the North.

Has the Southern government grown a set of proverbial balls?  Or has the frosty relationship between the UK and the EU spilled over into the relationship between the UK and Ireland?  Realistically, it’s a mixture of both. 

The South has enough on its plate at the minute with Covid still at high enough levels to warrant grave concern, vaccine roll-out is being hindered by mismanagement and ‘jabs for the boys’ and an extremely weak government in general that has been shown to have facilitated spying on disabled children, leaks of confidential medical documents with the current Taoiseach and his party haemorrhaging support which will ultimately lead to a massive loss in votes.

The last thing this government needs is to alienate a growing nationalist movement in the South who will not stand for the Irish government nominating someone to celebrate the one thing that is keeping this country divided…partition.

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