Assiduous readers of this blog will remember that in May this year the North’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Barra McGrory let it be known that he would quit the post this autumn and return to private practice as a QC.
That would happen as soon as the Attorney-General, John Larkin QC had come up with a suitable successor, suitable most of all to the Northern Bench who must approve his choice. After all they will be sending to jail the people the new DPP decides to prosecute and before that happens they usually like to see the cut of the favoured candidate’s jib.
The news was released via judicious leaks to the BBC and The Belfast Telegraph. The Tele told us furthermore that Barra’s replacement would be in place by September when, presumably, he would scurry off to the Bar Library to make his fortune (inasmuch as anyone at the Bar can in these austerity-ridden days).
Well, it’s September now. In fact it will soon be October. And nothing, zero, nada! Young Barra is still slogging away, with his office on the verge of making legal history by prosecuting a man with a memory so addled by dementia it is hardly worth the name, over what his memory allegedly contains.
So what has happened? Does the answer, perhaps, lie in what used to be called ‘the back corridor’ where the venerable judges who make up the Bench rest their weary bones between tedious court sessions? Has a resident of that august passage tossed a spanner into the works?
Who knows, but if there are any breathing, living journalists left in Belfast, there might be a story out there for them……