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."
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...