David Cameron: 'It is painful to work with former IRA chief Martin McGuinness'
David Cameron admitted he finds it "painful" to work with former IRA chief Martin McGuinness today as he defended the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.
But the Prime Minister insisted compromises such as the rehabilitation of the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister were a "price worth paying" for peace.
"The Good Friday Agreement was very painful because it did mean that people who had done appalling things were let out of prison.
"But in the end the government, and I supported them, thought that it was right to make that proposal to try to end the conflict.
"As a result the IRA did agree to end the war, as they put it, to put their weapons beyond use, pursue peaceful means."
Mr Cameron referred to senior Tory figures Ian Gow and Airey Neave, who were both killed in republican attacks.
"I find it personally quite painful when I think of Ian Gow or Airey Neave - Airey was the first MP who ever represented me in Parliament.
"I do find it painful that I now sometimes sit around a table with Martin McGuinness and I think about what that man did.
"But everyone has to come to terms with that because that is the price we are paying for peace, and it is a price that is worth paying, because peace is so much better than the alternative."
The premier insisted that the Bloody Sunday Inquiry had been necessary despite its huge costs - and stressed that prosecutions were still possible in relation to other incidents during the Troubles.
"We have to ask ourselves with Bloody Sunday, when 13 people were killed on that one day, is it right to have an inquiry and get to the bottom of what happened on that very black day in British history.
"I think it is right. That doesn't in any way detract from other people who suffered."
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...