Saturday August 8, 2020

Noel Dempsey: Horse-trading in corridors of power

Veteran negotiator describes the wheeling and dealing in forming a coalition government

6th March, 2016
Seamus Brennan, John Gormley (centre) and myself sat down at the table back in 2007

I was involved in Programme for Government negotiations on eight occasions: four full programmes and four mid-term reviews.

The first was the Fianna Fáil/Labour Partnership Programme following the 1992 election. In many ways it was the first of its kind as it involved detailed line-by-line negotiations over ten weeks by two teams of negotiators.

It has been said, inaccurately as it happens, that negotiations opened between the parties when Labour sent over their...

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