Wednesday, 1 June 2005
Bertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
As per the Official Report, I said some weeks ago in the House that I would make another attempt. I should not be pessimistic but the Deputy correctly reads my mind. I will try once more, but will not do so again after that. I will then seek advice as to how we should proceed. My reason for being pessimistic is not because of Prime Minister Blair or any of the British Secretaries of State and Ministers with whom I have dealt. However, this is an extraordinary and difficult position. I have tried for a long time as have successive Ministers for Foreign Affairs, the former Chief Justice, Mr. Liam Hamilton, and Mr. Justice Barron. We will make one more attempt with the new British Government, but if it is not forthcoming I will then seek legal advice.