met Gerry Fitt once.
1979 I did a TV show in Belfast with him, Rev. Ian
Paisley, Jim Molyneux and, I think, the then leader
of the Alliance Party.
was about the efforts of the Irish National Caucus
to promote an "Irish Peace Forum" in Washington,
hosted by the Ad Hoc Congressional Committee For
Irish Affairs, "to which all parties could
come without preconditions or compromise".
and the others attacked the concept of the Forum,
and attacked me and the Irish National Caucus.
the show, Paisley hurried off so as not to have
to shake my hand (although in later years he has
shaken my hand several times). When I shook Fitt's
hand, he beamed, leaned into me and said "Ah,
Jaysus, Sean, it's great to meet you. You are doing
great work in Washington."
laughed and said to him, "Gerry, why didn't
you say that on TV?" He smiled, did his trademark
shrug and said, "You know how it is here."
He then winked and ambled off.
he rest in peace.