David Trimble's ascent to the post of Northern Ireland's First Minister would have marked the end of a remarkable political journey in which a man from the hardline fringes of Ulster Unionism transformed himself into the leader of the mainstream centre of Northern Ireland. Whatever the ending, the story is the same and tells of the evolution of a man whose hand was held high in traditional Unionist defiance by Ian Paisley at the siege of Drumcree in 1996, into a man whose hand was held aloft by Bono alongside John Hume, symbolising the rejection of Paisleyism in 1998. Trimble's career has spanned over thirty years in which he moved from involvement with Bill Craig's ultra-right-wing Vanguard to the prospect of being leader of a partnership government with Seamus Mallon of the SDLP. Henry McDonald tells the story from Trimble's childhood in Bangor, County Down, a town 'as British as Finchley', through his years studying and teaching law at Queen's University, Belfast, and his early involvement with extreme Unionism, to his maturing into a politician seeking reconciliation and the power it might bring.
HENRY MCDONALD has been BBC Northern Ireland's Security Correspondent and Northern Ireland Correspondent for The Sunday Times. He is now Ireland Correspondent for the Observer. He is a contributor to the Spectator and a frequent broadcaster. He is the author of Irishbatt, and the co-author of INLA - Deadly Divisions and UVF.
'Well -written, interesting and brings a lot of revealing information to light'
THE IRISH TIMES