“I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that somebody who I’ve hurt –I’ve killed her father− is still prepared to come and listen to me and to talk to me and to respect my point of view.”
Patrick Magee, from Belfast in Northern Ireland UK, is a former member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). He was interned in Long Kesh between 1973 and 1975. Between 1980 and 1981, while detained in the Netherlands he successfully challenged an attempt to extradite him to England to face bombing charges.
In 1986, he was sentenced to life for the Brighton Bomb (occurred in 1984). He was released on license in 1999, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. While in prison he gained a BA (OU First Class) and, shortly after his release, completed a Doctorate which explores the misrepresentation of the armed struggle in Troubles Fiction, later published as Gangsters or Guerrillas.
He is a committed supporter of the peace process and is involved in several reconciliation projects, most notably along with Jo Berry, whose father, Sir Anthony Berry, was one of the five people killed at Brighton. Since their first meeting in 2001 they have met more than 120 times, sharing their continuing dialogue at conferences, in universities, schools and prisons, including work in South Africa, Rwanda, Lebanon and Israel/Palestine.
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