The Atlantic

What It Was Like to Negotiate With Martin McGuinness

I didn't forget that he was an IRA leader and that innocent people had died because of the choices he made. But I did see his commitment to making peace.
Source: Gerry Penny / Getty

The first time I met Martin McGuinness was in October 1997, in Castle Buildings at Stormont together with Tony Blair. We had arranged the meeting in a small windowless room in the drab government block to avoid TV cameras filming the meeting as they had a previous meeting with Mo Mowlam, our Northern Ireland Secretary. This was the first meeting between a British prime minister and Republican leaders for 75 years. Alastair Campbell and I declined to shake hands with him as a terrorist—a decision I regret now—but Tony

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min read
Downton, Downton, Revolution
The new Downton Abbey movie is a drug, a delight, a palliative for the pain of being, a balm for battered emotions, a cure for cynicism. Well, almost. After two hours mainlining Carson’s beetling eyebrows, the Dowager Countess’s caustic comebacks, Mr
The Atlantic8 min readPolitics
The U.S. Is About to Do Something Big on Hong Kong
Protests there have demonstrated the enduring appeal of American values and power. But can Washington live up to that promise?
The Atlantic9 min read
The Plot Against Persona
It’s preposterous for Lana Del Rey and other musicians to deny that they’re playing characters. But in this pop landscape, that denial might be necessary.