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Nine and half years - A modern tale of love and betrayal!

Today's meeting between Gerry Adams and Hugh Orde is not as historic a meeting as some might believe, but rather the finale of a long courtship. A true "behind the barricades" romance - the Chief Constable first became attracted to the republican movement when he worked with the Stevens Inquiry team. However the romance truly blossomed when he became chief constable. Despite the coy reluctance from Adams and Republicans Mr Orde showered them in gifts of his affection.

The engagement present was the Patton Reforms which destroyed the RUC, this Mr Orde hoped would be a fresh start for the Orde - Adams relationship. Mr Orde began by making far from discrete passes at republicans almost trying to buy their affections with promises of forgetting the past. Promises that were never within his grant to make, he did however send out the signals to Sinn Fein/IRA that if they were to jump into the Police Board bed with him he would deliver on the night.

It was a long and delicate courtship as Mr Orde had competition. Indeed Mr Blair and Mr Trimble and countless other politicians had tried and failed to establish monogamous relationships with Sinn Fein. However she continually rejected them and ran back to the arms of her soul mate - IRA. Despite the promises countless suitors made she would eventually leave them and return to her first love back to the streets where she belonged.

For Sinn Fein was no lady, she would rather indulge in the sordid pleasures of violence and backstreet terrorism than accompany her latest fiancÚ to the bright lights of Stormont. So many now watch in disbelief as the Chief Constable tries where so many have failed, can he entice Sinn Fein to leave her sordid past, he promises not to look into what she has done before he met her. He promises only to look forward not backward, scared he will realise that Adams and Sinn Fein are shaped and inextricably tied to their bloody past.

In one cruel twist of fate for the cuckold Chief Constable, his political masters have their heart set on a higher match for Sinn Fein/IRA. They see the lure of a priceless dowry if they can bring the houses of fascist republicanism and democratic unionism together. Like Romeo and Juliet in reverse the governments push this most unlikely of couples together. The audience waits in anticipation unsure if they are watching a comedy of errors or a Greek tragedy or a pantomime with the occasional shout of 'He's Behind You' as a masked figure menaces proceedings. The question they all ask is will the sinful temptress Sinn Fein seduce the pure Dr Paisley who has sworn never to trust her?

Will he be caught in her web or will he learn from the mistakes of countless other suitors. In this performance the audience is never quite sure whether the final chapter has been written or whether the actors on stage are ad-libbing for their lives.


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