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Politicians will be better for finding happiness

IT'S hard to believe that Ian Paisley is now saying that he was aware of the injustices that stirred the civil rights protesters into action half-a-century ago. It really can only be explained in the context of him becoming a happier man in recent years.

He was clearly a deeply unhappy man at the beginning of the Troubles, demonstrating great bitterness and anger at Catholics, nationalists and the Catholic Church. He was also pretty hard on mainstream unionists.

This serves to explain well the power of moods in our lives. This unhappy man had to be right every time and to suppress and intimidate his opponents.

A happier Paisley, with his memories of sitting in government with Sinn Fein and regularly making Martin McGuinness laugh, is much more at ease with himself.

He has nothing to prove, conquered many of his demons and can speak his mind without being concerned about incurring the wrath of friend or foe.

Truth becomes more important than anything else and incurring the wrath of those in the DUP who have, as yet, not found happiness and, because of this, persist in telling the tribal account of recent history, is not a particular concern.

I hope more politicians find happiness, for it is a powerful mood for progress. We might even hear Gerry Adams say that things aren't as bad as he's been telling us they were.

JOHN O'CONNELL

Derry

Belfast Telegraph

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