Lord Trimble was Northern Ireland’s inaugural First Minister from 1998 to 2002, and the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1995 to 2005, accepting a life peerage in the House of Lords in 2006. He won the Nobel peace prize, along with John Hume, leader of the SDLP party, as co-architects of the Good Friday Agreement.
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.
I began working with David Trimble in 1996 and worked with him for six years through the most tumultuous and transformative political change this country has seen since its formation in 1921. In those years between 1996 and 2002 I could point to many highs and lows, but I’d like to share three memories and reflections of that time.
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