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Rev Harold Good: 'Martin McGuinness and I were soulmates'

Rev Harold Good (left) with Fr Alec Reid in 2005. File picture by Paul Faith, Press Association
Staff Reporter

A METHODIST minister who oversaw the decommissioning of the Provisional IRA's arms has said he and the late Martin McGuinness were "soulmates".

Rev Harold Good, along with Catholic priest Fr Alec Reid, who died in 2013, was an independent witness to IRA decommissioning in 2005.

He spoke to an audience at a Féile an Phobail discussion in west Belfast yesterday about his friendship with Mr McGuinness, the former Sinn Féin MLA and ex-deputy First Minister who died in March.

Rev Good said Mr McGuinness once visited his holiday home in Ballycastle, Co Antrim, overlooking Rathlin island, and was struck by the beautiful scenery.

An emotional Rev Good said Mr McGuinness asked: "Is this where you go when you die?"

The minister spoke about his work during the peace process, including one occasion when he hosted campaigner Alan McBride, whose wife Sharon was killed in the 1993 Shankill bombing, and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

He also revealed that during decommissioning, he gave everyone involved in the process copies of the prayer of St Francis of Assisi.

Rev Good said one man carried the card and said the prayer every day.

He said although he would not talk about the end of decommissioning, he added: "What I heard was more important than what I saw: I heard men saying we're doing this because we do not want to hand on to our children that was handed onto us".

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