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Prickly, awkward, hardline... even a great unionist like Lord Trimble is cruelly caricatured

Gail Walker


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Lord Trimble and his wife, Daphne

Lord Trimble and his wife, Daphne

UK

Lord Trimble and his wife, Daphne

Amid the deserved lauding of Lord Trimble’s courage as an architect of the Good Friday Agreement, there’s been a persistent narrative about his personality: “short-tempered”, “prickly”, “awkward”, “lacking social skills” and of course that old favourite only applied to unionism, “hardline”.

The shorthand is of someone who did the right thing almost against their will and nature. Of a man with few likeable qualities who nevertheless in death must be accorded our begrudging admiration and thanks.


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