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Alex Kane

David Trimble was that rare thing in unionism ... a risk-taker who played the long game

Alex Kane


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David Trimble with his wife Daphne and youngest children Sarah and Nicholas at the family home in Lisburn in 1998

David Trimble with his wife Daphne and youngest children Sarah and Nicholas at the family home in Lisburn in 1998

David Trimble with his wife Daphne and youngest children Sarah and Nicholas at the family home in Lisburn in 1998

David Trimble was not expected to win the leadership of the UUP in September 1995. All the smart money was on John Taylor to coast it, with some betting on Ken Maginnis to pass him on the inside in the last lap.

And when Trimble did win — a 466-333 majority over Taylor — it didn’t take long for the rumours to start (some generated from within the DUP) that it was his hand-in-hand jig with Ian Paisley at the end of a Garvaghy Road parade a few weeks earlier which secured his surprise victory.


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