Who got most from Hume's talks with Adams?
Seamus Mallon, speaking on BBC Talkback last Monday, graphically summed up the Provisional IRA's abuse of its secret talks with John Hume, which became public in April 1993.
"They used John - John Hume - like you'd play a 3lb trout. And he gave them the thing they were looking for. And that was a respectable image in the United States. They used him - oh, yeah, I think so, there's nothing new, I've said this. I said it to John. I've said it within the party."
In 1993, the Provo IRA, riddled with informers, was on the ropes in the North. In the Republic, Sinn Fein was a political pariah.