Friday, May 11, 2007

Battle of the Boyne revisited

Today is another excellent election photo opportunity for Taoiseach Bertie Ahern as he hosts a visit by Ian Paisley to the site of the Battle of the Boyne (1690), which is celebrated every 12th July by the Orange Order in Northern Ireland

Dr Paisley will be invited to plant a tree at the site of the battle. There’s no truth in the rumour that the taigs will provide him with an orange tree sapling for the planting ceremony. In the Irish climate, an orange tree wouldn’t survive its first winter in the Boyne valley.

Which links to another story about the diplomacy and love-bombing by the Irish Government of the same Dr Paisley during the tortuous negotiations with the DUP over the past few years. Dr Paisley’s 50th wedding anniversary occurred during one of those negotiating sessions at St Andrews last year and both the Irish & British governments decided that they should give him and his wife a present to mark the occasion.

“What are you giving him, Bertie?” Blair asked Ahern. “A wooden bowl” replied Bertie. “A wooden what?” came the perplexed response. “It’s very symbolic, Tony” explained Bertie, “it’s carved from a fallen walnut tree at the site of the Battle of the Boyne”.

“What are we giving him?” Blair asked an aide. “A photograph album” replied the aide. “F***!” said Blair, “Bertie, can we present that bowl of yours as a joint gift?”.

“F*** off, Tony” came the instant reply.

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