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Irish gripes

Mark Mardell | 03:21 UK time, Friday, 20 June 2008

Bag slung over my shoulder, overcoat on, and heading for the door bad luck struck in the form of a readout of the Irish prime minister's speech. So forgive me if I am terse in my summary. I will give you more detail later.

Brian CowenHe made it clear he saw October as a reporting stage, not a deadline, arguing "it would be counterproductive to any potential way forward.. for us to attempt to predetermine a precise time frame".

He identified a list of reasons for the referendum defeat, none of which will be surprising for those who've followed the campaign. He added that the poor economic outlook might have been a factor, noting it's not going to get any better. While that sounds suspiciously like a warning of the dangers of a second referendum, much of the rest highlights troubled waters where oil might usefully be poured. I am not sure if this points towards a second referendum. I don't think the other EU leaders are sure. I am not sure if Mr Cowen is sure. I'm going to sleep on it, and when I wake up I am not sure it will be any clearer.

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