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The Boston Globe

Opinion

opinion | Padraig O’Malley

‘Madiba’ helped bring peace to Northern Ireland

In the coming days, there will be thousands of tributes from every corner of the globe in memory of Nelson Mandela, who seemingly touched all of our lives in one way or another.

I was among the fortunate few who had the opportunity to work with “Madiba,’’ as he was known affectionately to South Africans, on a project associated with Northern Ireland. The McCormack School at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Mandela collaborated to help the 16 leading negotiators in the Northern Ireland peace talks, which had gotten bogged down in the usual blame game and were at an impasse. The negotiators included Peter Robinson, now Northern Ireland’s first minister, and Martin McGuiness, the deputy first minister.

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