That Desmond Boal and Ian Paisley should die within six or seven months of each other seems somehow fitting. Paisley died last September and Boal last week, their exit from this world signalling not just the final act in a partnership that has left an indelible mark on Irish politics and history but the passing of an age, the like of which we will probably never see again nor soon even be able to imagine existed.
It was the most curious of collaborations, the gifted, cerebral, agnostic and very worldly barrister and the mesmeric, back street preacher cum demagogue united only by their aversion to the establishment forces that dominated their community. In the end the former’s principles could not find houseroom with the latter’s ambition and the alliance foundered. But in-between, in a few short years, they together made history.
I was going…
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