It is a bit rich of Jeffrey Donaldson of the Democratic Unionist Party to complain of what he sees as Dublin’s failure to engage in dialogue with unionists, when his own party has been sluggish in addressing Sinn Féin concerns in order to restore the North’s power-sharing institutions.
His criticism of Irish Government policy on Northern Ireland must also be viewed in the context of the pro-Brexit DUP taking little account of the wishes of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland who voted to remain in the EU.
Speaking in Dublin, Mr Donaldson said the Taoiseach had “subcontracted” Northern Ireland policy to the European Commission and that instead of bringing in “outsiders to lean on unionists”, Leo Varadkar should have engaged in trilateral talks between Belfast, Dublin, and London.
To what effect? To agree a short time limit on the border backstop, which is what the DUP is demanding?
He shows little understanding of how the EU works, or of how the Brexit negotiations have been handled from the start by his own government in London. It would have been quite impossible for the Taoiseach to engage in direct negotiations with the UK on a matter that affects the whole of the EU.
Instead of lecturing the Taoiseach, Mr Donaldson should use his own negotiating skills to end the Stormont stalemate. The absence of a functioning assembly in Belfast is a far bigger threat to unionism than Brussels or Dublin.