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-It's not you, it's me, says Trimble
-Sinn Fein defend punishment beatings: "We were on a break"

The messy break-up (artist's impression)

Close friends of Gerry Adams and David Trimble, leaders of Sinn Fein and the Unionist Party respectively, say that the three-year long relationship between the two men has finally ended.

"It was coming for a long time", says one, "but it seems like they've finally agreed that it's run its course and it's time to see other people".

In a heartfelt letter Trimble wrote to Adams last week and which was leaked to the press yesterday, he is clearly hurting: "I just don't think this is working out, honey," he writes. "Maybe we should give ourselves some time, say about six weeks, and try seeing other people."

"And yet I still hope", he continues. "If only you could just seal up the ammunition dump of your distrust, and maybe if I can stop beating myself up with baseball bats over that whole affair with the PUP, perhaps we can make this thing work."

Sources say that Adams was annoyed by Trimble's constant flirting with the DUP, while Trimble had suspicions that Adams was still seeing the IRA, despite his assurances to the contrary to Trimble and an Ghovernmaint na hEireann.

This simmering dispute erupted recently in a very public place, the main chamber of the Stormont Assembly. Trimble bitterly accused Adams of "always sticking up for" the SDLP in arguments against him, at which point Adams sobbed "You just don't trust me, do you?" and ran out of the room, knocking over drinks.

Friends of the couple still think that they can patch things up, but wonder whether it would really be worth it. "They were born to be together," says one. "Unfortunately."


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