Northern Ireland

Paul Murphy: Northern Ireland peace has taken longer than expected

Paul Murphy Image copyright PA
Image caption Paul Murphy was Northern Ireland secretary in 2002

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy has said establishing peace has taken longer than expected.

Speaking to BBC Wales, he said the Northern Ireland process was "a bit slower than we thought".

"I didn't think the process was going to last quite as long as that. But it did. It's 10, 15 years before things started changing," he said.

"There are a few who don't like it, but we are literally talking about a few."

Mr Murphy said a new generation of young people had no memory of the Troubles.

"That was the idea - that we'd make life normal for people. That, I think, has worked," he said.

Mr Murphy was Northern Ireland secretary in 2002 and earlier played a key role in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement as a deputy to Mo Mowlam.

Also a former Welsh Secretary under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, he announced on Friday he would stand down from the House of Commons at the general election after 28 years as the MP for Torfaen.

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