Talks. A seven hour meeting between the Greens and SF. Early exploratory meetings between Michéal Martin and Leo Varadkar. More meetings planned, after further careful delays and internal talks. Except it’s looking like time may be up sooner than was expected.
Something significant is happening here. After practise runs on SARS, Swine Flu and Bird Flu (Remember them?) we look like we’re all about to see what an infectious disease looks like in an age of mass travel and urbanisation.
One of the surprising reoccurring elements of this story has been important people acting as though they can’t catch an illness, by dint of only meeting other important people. So the Dept Minister of Health in Iran gets ill. While he was in the incubation period, the Dutch Foreign Minister travelled to Iran and met his Iranian counterpart, who had a driver who seems to have turned out to be infected also.
They, in turn, will all go back and meet with their national governments over the next few days.
Traditionally this opening credits montage is followed by Tom Cruise trying to save his family.
Meanwhile, Ireland is waiting to see how things go. The Minister for Health has said the Ireland v Italy rugby match should be cancelled. The HSE, which is annually overwhelmed by ‘Winter’, has assured the public it is prepared.
The EU yesterday gave the necessary instructions to M. Barnier to start negotiations with the UK. He says he’s ready to start on Monday. On past experience, the UK will arrive to the first meeting wearing a sock on one hand and will have forgotten their notes on the train.
In a sort of greatest hits move, David Davis MP has announced the deal will be excellent for the UK because of the wishes of German car manufacturers.
But Ireland is back in the middle of the negotiation, as the strangely absent PM promotes the idea that the previous agreement on checks in the Irish Sea might still be up for reversal or revision.
The gradual uptick of external pressure may see a FF/FG government (+FG-like indos) snap into place faster than they might have liked.