The other heads of state who would be prepared to put themselves in this position form a group in whose company Mrs Robinson would no doubt normally be reluctant to find herself. The fact that the handshake took place behind closed doors surely demonstrates that all concerned (except Sinn Fein, no doubt) felt uneasy about it.
Logically, the handshake was of no importance, but many of the people of this country believe that, at least by failing to act decisively against it, the Irish government tacitly supports the IRA. If it is ever going to persuade those people that they are wrong, such incidents as this cannot be repeated. I suspect this was the source of the unease to which I refer.
R. L. BARLOW
23 JuneReuse content