When he appeared in Athlone in 2001 the former Taoiseach talked about his role in the Northern Ireland peace process.
“On the peace process I set out on a journey for justice. That was the underlying criteria. And I wanted to see a fair deal for people of both traditions and we could do it without violence. It was to put in place an alternative to the conflict. To put in place a new approach that could reach the same goals. For 30 years we had non-stop violence, and I remember the day I took over, we had some of the worst murders.
“I know Northern Ireland politics was always a graveyard for Irish politicians, just as it was for British politicians but I always believed that we should send out a different marketing message from Ireland that Ireland was not a place of war, bombs and bullets. That kind of image could never attract more people to come here,” said the former Taoiseach.
Speaking to this writer about a crisis, which was then (2001) happening in the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Mr. Reynolds said: “History will forgive no politician who will damage the Peace Process.”