Are you ready boots – Start walking

I wish President Obama every success in his attempts to bring peace to the Middle East but why, oh why did he have to appoint George Mitchell as peace envoy? Does he not realise the great suffering his decision will bring on the Irish people?

From now on every report on Mitchell’s progress in the Middle East will be previewed with a detailed account of the part he played in ‘Our Peace Process.’

Indeed, it is evolutionary impossible for any RTE newsperson to mention the name George Mitchell without recounting in great detail the part he played in ‘Our Peace Process.’

‘Our Peace Process’, which, it could be argued, has been going on for about 800 years, is lauded as a model for the rest of the world to follow. For feck sake, it went on for decades, the Good Friday Agreement alone took about twelve years to implement and that was after years of endless talks about talks about talks.

As George himself says:

“This was almost 800 years after Britain began its domination of Ireland, 86 years after the partition of Ireland, 38 years after the British army began its most recent mission in Ireland, 11 years after the peace talks began and nine years after a peace agreement was signed. In the negotiations which led to that agreement, we had 700 days of failure and one day of success. For most of the time progress was non-existent or very slow.”

You can almost feel the manic frustration in his words.

During negotiations it was obvious that Mitchell was on the brink of insanity, that at any moment he was going to start walking until he reached the Atlantic and then – keep on walking.

It’s likely that Mitchell had only one condition when Obama asked him to deal with the ‘easy’ Middle East conflict – No landings in Ireland, not even over flights, I’ll travel via the North Pole if necessary.

But Irish citizens will have no such escape. Already, deep in the bowels of Montrose, the old news reports and documentaries, anything featuring Mitchell, are being dusted down in readiness for broadcast.

Time, methinks, to put on the boots and start walking for the Atlantic.

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