Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams says he has forgiven Margaret Thatcher for her many political miscalculations, but not for her handling of the hunger strikes.
Speaking just hours after her passing was announced, Adams told UTV that Thatcher's 'espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering.'
But days later he reportedly admitted that he can now forgive Thatcher for the way in which she handled affairs in the north.
'I can't forgive her for the prison struggle, that's up to the prisoners and their families and her role in the hunger strikes was shameful, but in terms of anything that happened to me, of course I forgive her,' Adams told UTV.
'I've gone beyond hatred a very long time ago and I believe in forgiveness, but that is a personal matter which people have to come to as individuals. My position has been completely consistent.'
Thatcher's funeral is to scheduled to take place at St Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday, at the reported cost of over $10 million pounds, and it will be attended by the Queen.
Adams added that many things have now changed in the north, for the better.
'Her role in Ireland was one which hurt an awful lot of people, both British and Irish, protracted the war, caused huge damage to the prisoners in the H Blocks, and the women in Armagh,' he added. 'But that's all over. We are in a better place. We've moved on.'
Adams remarks come at the end of the week marking the 15 anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Adams added that the Good Friday Agreement, which led to the establishment of the power-sharing Stormont Assembly, has delivered generally' but added that there's still work to do.
'It's delivered, generally speaking, on peace,' he said. 'I'm mindful that there are small minorities who have still the ability to kill and have killed, but broadly speaking, as an agreement based upon equality, it has brought an end to the reason for conflict.
'There's no longer on this island a moral or political reason by anyone - British or Irish - to engage in violence. But has the agreement delivered?
'No it hasn't. But it was never going to immediately. Are we in a better place than we were before the agreement? Yes, most definitely yes.'
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