Full house for debate
Mary Lou made a bit of a stumbler with saying only people who lived in Continental Europe and spoke a foreign language could fully appreciate the European project. Talk about the shooting oneself in the foot but maybe she'd be more familiar with kneecapping... She did however repent on that one but then proceeded to bluff and ramble on Danny's question on her view that our peacekeeping must be only be mandated by the UN, reformed or not. Danny pushed on the fact that as a Republican with a strong party line on self determination, How could she let the US or Russia or China dictate Irish interventions but she waffled somemore and said it was only the UN that should dicate our peacekeeping activities. The Gerry McCabe question was asked and deftly side stepped by the typical Sinn Fein if you've not known the problems of the North blah blah blah .... (Sorry I fell asleep at this point, not!)
Simon then spoke on the need to see the services directive achieved even if its in conjunction with Charlie MacCreevy. The Turkey question was then dangled but Simon spoke on how it would not be the accession of today's Turkey but that of a Turkey of 10 or more years down the line. It will be a big challenge as it would be the first Islamic country to join so he agreed to their accession but again only if they meet the criteria. Posing a question he said otherwise are we just a Christian white boys club? Simon agreed that whilst the UN has seen change recently it needs to be more balanced to take into new changes such as India but missed answering the bit on the triple lock (The FG answer from Gay Mitchell is of course to remove the silly concept which was only given by FF to ensure Nice 2 passed when they really threw out the soverignity of the nation with the bathwater so to speak). Simon also found it hard to hear Sinn Fein on Gerry McCabe and how they still sought the freedom of his killers and he said that the excuse of bird watching in Columbia also didn't wash when the delegation consisted of two ex-bomb makers and a interpreter. He make his plunder of the evening by asking how could one be respected when they kneecapped drug dealers in their areas as that was the responsibility of the police, garda's. Which got a right bit of laughter
Gerry McCabe also came back in another of Mary Lou's responses which was the standard line of Sinn Fein tripe about the Northern process which got some valid, correct and highly emotive responses from the floor. The chair, Prof Warrley then interceded. That was about it for the evening.
The politics of wishful thinking from Sinn Fein, after 30 seconds of sound bites their policies collapsed. The general consensus post debate was fine prepared speeches but that Mary Lou failed on the specifics.