McGuinness says those hurt in Britain need input in NI talks
‘Compromise not a dirty word’ McGuinness tells Warrington audience
Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness makes a key note speech during the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace event at the Peace Centre in Warrington.
People injured in Britain during the Provisional IRA’s campaign should be given a voice in talks to deal with Northern Ireland’s past, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness said last night.
He was speaking at the Warrington peace centre, near Liverpool, at the invitation of Colin Parry, the father of Tim Parry (12), who was killed along with Jonathan Ball (3) when two Provisional IRA bombs exploded in the Cheshire town in 1993.
His suggestion was supported by Mr Parry, who said British victims have long been ignored.
Mr McGuinness earlier told 160 invited guests at an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombs that “compromise is not a dirty word”.
In a significant speech, he praised Democratic Unionist Party leader Peter Robinson, saying that despite their difficulties their “main allegiance” was to the peace process.
However, he said the log-jam caused by Mr Robinson’s decision not to back the construction of a peace and reconciliation centre in the Maze showed the problems of dealing with the past.
“Given the journey we have all trodden and the changes that have come about and our work abroad as advocates of peace-building, it beggars belief that we cannot agree on a peace centre.”
Defending his past, Mr McGuinness said: “I am not going to be a hypocrite and say that I am consumed by guilt. Those were the circumstances that we faced,” he said.
Today, he said he was a peace-builder: “Compromise is not a dirty word. I am proud of the compromises which I have made in the building of peace.”