It seems that David Andrews has reconsidered his decision to sell his copy of the Good Friday agreement.
What good news. This probably means he won’t be selling assorted memos, letters, wallpaper or even toilet paper , but why on earth did he think this historic document was his to sell in the first place?
Andrews, as foreign minister, was fortunate enough to be present at the time when the savage conflict ended – at least for the moment – and in the course of his involvement, he came into possession of a historic State paper: a copy of the agreement signed by all participants. But for reasons best known to himself, Andrews came to believe that this historic paper was his own property rather than a document entrusted to him for future generations of Irish people.
It was a moment that everyone present took pride in and rightly so, but David Andrews, for reasons best known to himself, tried to cash in on it, by selling a document that properly belonged to the Irish people.
Am I surprised? No. That’s Fianna Fáil for you, though to be fair to Andrews, his attempt to raise a couple of grand by flogging something he doesn’t have rights over fades to insignificance compared to the things his party colleagues sold such as, for example, all our natural energy resources, our economic independence and our national self-respect.
In the annals of political gobshitery, David Andrews will never rival his leader, Bertie Ahern, or the incomparable Biffo, but perhaps even in that fact he diminishes himself a little more. What on earth was he thinking of, and more to the point, what must the other participants in the negotiations be thinking? Can you imagine George Mitchell or John de Chastelain trying to flog their copies of this document?
It’s not as if Ireland’s reputation is riding high internationally, and yet here is our former foreign minister trying to raise a few euros selling a document that ought to be in the national archives, not secretly placed in the hands of an auctioneer.
I cringe for him.
Elsewhere: Brian Lucey