I couldn't fail to be moved listening to David Ervine on tonight's RTE programme. He made a plethora of amazing statements, things your could only admire. He spoke wisely on the power of education, the existing evidence of progress, his lack of fear of change. On a little level of detail I loved his unmistakable happiness at being recently invited as the only politician to a West Belfast Catholic school - an ex UVF man presenting prizes to students in this school once attended by Gerry Adams. It was also moving to hear him talk on how he looked forward to live to see - in maybe 20 years - Northern Ireland people looking back at their past and saying "What was all the fuss about?"
There is enough empowering material in this program to be quoted for decades. I don't care how misdirected David Ervine was in the past - education changed him and he was big enough to embrace it and use it. So can others. I was impressed and I hope his legacies are used by the people of Northern Ireland to move forward. And finally - isn't it sad how often we only pay serious attention to the wisdom of a person when they are dead.