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Hijacking Mr Hume

What has happened to Northern Ireland's constitutional nationalists? Has a politically resurgent Sinn Fein taken John Hume's voters and prevented him from doing a deal with the unionists? Or has armed republicanism finally been tamed? Sean O'Callaghan, a repentant IRA terrorist, fears the worst

By Sean O'Callaghan   April 1998

Thirteen years ago this month, Gerry Adams rose to address Sinn Fein’s national executive following a series of public exchanges between himself and John Hume, leader of Northern Ireland’s constitutional nationalists. I was a member of the Sinn Fein national executive at the time and I remember clearly what Adams said: “We may have nothing to say to John Hume but northern nationalists will not forgive us if we refuse to talk.”

As we move closer to a referendum on the future of Northern Ireland-possibly in May-one important question remains unanswered: after 13 years of negotiations between Hume and Adams,…

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