Tuesday 19 September 2017

Despite dark shadows from an IRA past, he was open, warm and likeable

'Mr McGuinness was, in my experience, passionate about the peace process and keen to make it work,' says former taoiseach Brian Cowen, pictured with former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams
'Mr McGuinness was, in my experience, passionate about the peace process and keen to make it work,' says former taoiseach Brian Cowen, pictured with former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams

Brian Cowen

The first time I met Martin McGuinness was in the early 1990s in a hotel bedroom near the Border. Albert Reynolds was Taoiseah and he had asked me to take a message to him.

I conveyed the message and awaited the reply as he wrote in a notebook. Then he said: "I'll have to bring it back to the IRA."

I ventured that he could just pop into the en-suite bathroom, look in the mirror and come back out to give me the answer. He smiled, and then said: "We'll be back to ye." As he left, I remember thinking I could get on with him.

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