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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 October 2005, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Witness 'not offended by Paisley'
The two witnesses, Rev Harold Good and Fr Alec Reid
The witnesses said there was no shadow of doubt it happened
Remarks made by DUP leader Ian Paisley about the two church witnesses to decommissioning were not hurtful, the Protestant clergyman has said.

Mr Paisley said they were "IRA nominated", which had "put a very big question over what has taken place".

Former Methodist president Rev Harold Good said he has "never felt as right about anything as I felt about this".

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein and the DUP are to hold separate talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair in London on Thursday.

The Downing Street talks will focus on IRA decommissioning.

Mr Good said he was "overwhelmed" by the positive response, some from unionists and Orangemen, over Monday's statement on the decommissioning.

Mr Good confirmed to BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics that he was first approached late last year, and said he was assured he would be acceptable to a wide range of people.

He said he was not being naive in taking on the role of decommissioning witness, along with his Catholic counterpart, Fr Alec Reid.

We didn't come out of the meeting having agreed on everything, but there was a mutual understanding, and that was important
Rev Harold Good
On his meeting with the DUP
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"I'm prepared, if it were ever proven to me that I had been fooled in this... well, that's the risk one takes," he said.

"I don't believe I have been (naive), not for one moment, but we have to be prepared to be fools for the sake of the greater good."

The two church witnesses met a DUP delegation at Stormont on Thursday, where the party raised their concerns about the clergymen's nomination and the inventory of weapons destroyed.

Ulster Unionist deputy leader Danny Kennedy had said Mr Paisley was "wrong to question the honesty and integrity" of the two church witnesses.

However, Mr Good said there were no hard feelings between himself and the DUP at the meeting.

"It was amicable, it was good natured and frank. It provided an opportunity for two-way clarification," he said.

"We didn't come out of the meeting having agreed on everything, but there was a mutual understanding, and that was important."

Mr Good added that he now wanted to get on with enjoying his retirement.

Making his report on Monday, General De Chastelain said he had handled every gun and made an inventory of the ordnance, which was in line with estimates provided by the UK and Irish security services.


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