Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness present united front on US trip

 

Mingling with Irish Americans in a tiny penthouse garden area at the top of Fitzpatrick's Manhattan hotel, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness were among friends and believers.

Duncan Niederauer from the New York Stock Exchange has just been given a CBE for his contribution in bringing hundreds of jobs to Belfast. He acknowledged it has been a difficult summer for Northern Ireland, but put that down as a short-term blip against a pattern of long-term progress.

Mr Niederauer wasn't exercised about the first and deputy first minister's Maze peace centre dispute, arguing that New Yorkers are well used to their own politicians falling out from time to time.

The wealthy philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksmann is retiring as chair of the American Ireland Fund.

She went so far as to praise the chemistry between Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness and to predict they will lead Northern Ireland on to better times.

So is the summer falling out between Stormont's top two sorted? Don't believe it.

The deputy first minister has very deliberately avoided a slanging match, but under the surface he's still seething about the DUP leader's decision to put the peace centre on hold.

With existing and potential investors to be sweet talked, both Messrs Robinson and McGuinness are mature enough to show unity and get on with their joint sales pitch.

Not only that, neither leader wants to appear negative ahead of next week's Haass talks in Belfast.

Despite this temporary New York truce, keep a watch on two fronts.

Will Sinn Féin block any economic development on the wider Maze site unless and until the peace centre project is revived?

And will the row spill out into any other policy areas (welfare reform?) requiring co-operation between Stormont's two biggest parties?

 
Mark Devenport, Political editor, Northern Ireland Article written by Mark Devenport Mark Devenport Political editor, Northern Ireland

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    Sergio, thats what will eventually have to happen but you may tell that to the people who objected to the Castederg march in a nationalist area but see no problem in calling a band after a UVF killer and marching past the shops in Ardoyne where he killed a Catholic not to mention countless other similar examples. Equality must mean toleration for all.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    Move on Lurch - deal with the here and now and leave the past were it belongs, in the past.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 7.

    Its pointless labelling people terrorists for this is all in the eye of the beholder. For example, agents of the British state planted 4 synchronised car-bombs in Dublin and Monaghan in 1974.The British government still refuse to assist investigators to this day but a state that bombed the capital city of another country today would be called a terrorist state and compared to North Korea or Syria.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 6.

    It's not so much that McGuiness is so good, it's just that the DUP and Robinson are so bad. The unionist people of NI are represented by creationist, happy clappy, bigots. Fair enough SF used to be terrorists.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    Usual nonsense from "chris london". Martin Mcguinness has consistently offered the hand of friendship to unionist/loyalist communities.He has met with victims of IRA violence, secured funding for deprived protestant communities. He has stated that he has no problem with those in the 6 counties who describe themselves as British.Yet not one Unionist leader has reached out to nationalist/republicans

 

Comments 5 of 9

 

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