Wednesday April 1, 2020

‘His greatest strength was his ability to put you at ease’

The former Progressive Unionist Party leader recalls how her time spent working with Martin McGuinness on the Good Friday Agreement confounded her preconceptions of him

8th April, 2018
Martin McGuinness: the late Sinn Féin deputy leader will have historical permanence Pic: Getty

I remember the first time Sinn Féin came into talks. It was June 1996, and I was in my late twenties. I was petrified. The PUP saw republicans coming into the talks as a good thing. I remember Gusty Spence [a veteran loyalist paramilitary leader] saying: “Ah, we need them in, we need them in!” I was saying to him: “Are you mad?” But Gusty kept saying: “We need Sinn Féin in the democratic process....

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