was minister for education in the Northern Ireland Executive (as well as MP for Mid Ulster) when David McMillan met him on 30 July 2002 in his office at Stormont. Reportedly a former chief of staff of the Provisional IRA, he had been one of the principal architects of the Good Friday Agreement.
Photography: Sinn Féin
Many people in England especially are indifferent not only to religion but even to their own culture and are mystified by the passion that seems to fire other people, to be Irish, to be British, whatever. Can you explain what it means to you?
I’ve always felt Irish. My mother comes from just outside Buncrana in County Donegal: she moved down to Derry in the 1940s to work in the shirt factories and met my father, who was a Derry man – he worked in an iron foundry. And we were always very conscious that we were Irish, that we weren’t British, but in a very non-political way. Growing up as a child in Derry – and right through until I was about, I suppose, 21 years old, politics didn’t really enter my life at all. Life for me was playing sport.
For example, all of us played Gaelic football at school – but we also played soccer at the end of the street. My older brother was an exceptional Gaelic footballer and won three Ulster championships and an All-Ireland Under-21 medal. And I had another brother who loved soccer: some of the Christian Brothers told him, ‘You shouldn’t be playing soccer, you should be playing Gaelic,’ and he rebelled and gave up Gaelic and went on to play soccer for the League of Ireland, and played against Argentina [in 1985,] the year before they won the World Cup.
That’s the level of our Irishness. We liked Irish traditional music. I suppose we were ‘Irish Catholics’, but the politics of our family was politics with a very small ‘p’.
And what about religion?
Religion was never a problem in our family. My father was a very religious man, a very good Catholic, God rest him – he went to Mass every day in his life and we said the rosary every night – but his best friend was a Protestant from a unionist area of the city, a man that he worked with who we loved like an uncle. I would always have frowned on anyone who uttered any word of sectarianism and that was because of my upbringing, because my father didn’t teach us in any way to look down our noses at anybody else’s religion. He hadn’t a sectarian bone in his body and – I mean, other people may if they wish contradict this, but I don’t believe that I have.
Do you consider yourself a Christian?
I was born into a Catholic family and I regard myself as a Christian, but I can fit in quite comfortably with anybody’s religion
Well, I was born into a Catholic family and I regard myself as a Christian. I regard myself as a Catholic. But I also have a very broad view of the world and I know that there are hundreds of other religions throughout the world, and within the whole sphere of Christianity there are people competing as well – and I’m sympathetic to all of them.
I think there are many people now within organised religion who are prepared to recognise that one person’s view of the world and of religion is as valid as the other; and I just have a broad-minded view of all of that, to tell you the truth. I can fit in quite comfortably with anybody’s religion.
Religion didn’t drive me for the last 30 years; what drove me was politics.
What was it, then, that politicised you?
What politicised me was the civil-rights protest. It wasn’t anything I heard in the house, or even in my grandmother’s house in Donegal. There was no republicanism whatsoever in my background. What politicised me was the injustice of it all: the fact that I believed that unionist rule here at Stormont for so many decades had hugely disadvantaged the community I came from, that those people were effectively treated like second-class citizens – and it had to be brought to an end. I did feel a burning desire to see an end to inequality and injustice.
But also, because those events politicised me, I came to the view that the best possible solution for all of the people of this island was to see an end to British government rule and the establishment of a 32-county republic.
It’s very interesting that you came to things in that order. Can you tell us what were the major landmarks on your political journey?
The civil-rights protest had a huge influence on me – and, I think, many other young people in Derry. The killing of Sammy Devenney1Samuel Devenney, 42, was beaten up by six men of the RUC who entered his home in the Bogside in Derry on 19 April 1969. He died 88 days later. in his own house by the [Royal Ulster Constabulary] was hugely traumatic for people who were just leaving their teens. And there were other killings in Derry even before the IRA had done anything – for example, by the Royal Anglian Regiment. When Dessie Beattie2Desmond Beattie, 19, was shot dead by a British soldier during street disturbances in the Bogside on 8 July 1971. was killed, for some reason or other they brought his body to the bottom of our street and it frightened the living daylights out of me. The previous night, Seamus Cusack had been killed in the Rossville Street area: he was the nephew of a woman who lived in my street.3Seamus Cusack, 27, was shot and fatally wounded by a British soldier during street disturbances in the Bogside in the small hours of 7/8 July 1971. He died shortly after being admitted to hospital.
The introduction of internment in 1971, Bloody Sunday4On 30 January 1972, a march took place in Derry, organised by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, to protest against internment without trial. Estimates of the numbers involved range from 3,000 to 30,000 men, women and children. After some young men broke away to attack a British Army barricade, men of the Parachute Regiment moved into the Bogside to make arrests, and ended by shooting dead 13 men (and wounding a further 13 or 14 people, one of whom died five months later), mainly by single shots to the head or torso. None of the dead appeared to have been armed. Six were aged 17. – there have been so many landmarks in my life, it is just littered with them. My life was effectively shaped by political events, by the years of struggle and political protest, experiences in prison meeting other prisoners. I became a highly politicised person, and it became apparent that many other people looked to me for leadership – though not only me – and I found myself (I think, reluctantly) in a position of leadership. If other people see you as someone who can make a political contribution, you have to make a political contribution.
The hunger strikes in 19815Republican prisoners demanding to be treated as political prisoners rather than common criminals finally went on hunger strike in 1980 and again in 1981, when 10 men starved themselves to death. The first to die was Bobby Sands, just elected MP for Fermanagh-South Tyrone. were another hugely significant event in the lives of republicans, and, I suppose, particularly significant for me because even at that stage, when Margaret Thatcher was in power, I was in contact with someone on the British side, trying to bring that protest to an end and to get the British government to face up to the case that the prisoners were making.
And that, essentially, brought us to the process of dialogue and debate with other political parties, with governments, with people within the business community, within the churches – and I mean all the churches. And out of that came the peace process, the whole process of trying to bring about a situation where our political opponents would face up to the case that we were making that there was a lot of injustice and discrimination in our society.
History is littered with situations where people felt they had no other alternative but to resort to armed force. The English have done it consistently
And that was absolutely massive – hugely important not just for me and for the people that I represent but, I believe, for all of the people of this island. I think that the work that has been done in the last 10 years has been of absolutely immense significance for all of us, to such a point that I believe that there can be no going back for anyone.
Under what circumstances do you think that violence is justified?
Many republicans felt, right through the aftermath of the civil-rights protest, that there was no political alternative. Many were of the view that resistance to British rule and to the British Army and the RUC was justifiable in the context that we found ourselves in as a result of the inability of the British establishment to come to terms with the whole issue of civil rights.
Obviously, I made a judgement at that time that the use of armed struggle was justified – I mean, I joined the IRA, as I’ve said in my statement to the Bloody Sunday tribunal.
What is your opinion of pacifism and pacifists?
Well, I like pacifists and I like pacifism, and I love peace processes – particularly peace processes that work. I admire people who hold very strong convictions and we all know that some of the great figures in the world are the Martin Luther Kings and the Gandhis and so on; but at the same time we know that the history of the world is littered with situations where there was great injustice and people felt that they had no other alternative but to resort to armed force. The English have done it consistently, in the First World War and the Second World War, and the Americans did it in Vietnam.
I don’t see anything wrong with pacifism, but if you equate pacifism with people living in a slavish state of mind, I have to say I would draw the line between the two. I don’t believe that any nation on earth should be enslaved by another.
Is it fair to say that the reason the IRA has now abandoned the armed struggle is that people in the (increasingly prosperous) Republic of Ireland have lost interest in it – and, since 11 September last year, the rest of the world has lost sympathy? Republicans claim to be undefeated by the British military but in fact you have been beaten by history.
Well, it depends what you mean by ‘undefeated’, and what you mean by ‘beaten’. So many things have happened over the course of the last 30 years – some people would say over the last 300 years…
One of the big things that’s happened within republicanism over the course of the last 20 years, say, was that there were people within the political leadership of republicanism who were passionate about the need to build Sinn Féin as a credible political party. That has been a huge project for us – and of course all the greater because we were trying to build Sinn Féin against the backdrop of ongoing conflict and injustice and discrimination and people losing their lives, on all sides.
And then you are challenged to use your abilities to bring conflict to an end, and that is a project that we took very seriously indeed, from the very beginning. Some people might say we were slow in getting there, but that ignores the events that were taking place on the ground and the incredible impact that they had on people’s lives. Most of the north of Ireland was effectively caught in a vicious circle of injustice and conflict and death, and the circle had to be broken by someone – and if not by a government whose chief responsibility that was, there was a responsibility on everybody else to see what they could do to break that vicious circle.
I have long believed that we are all victims of the history of this place, the unionists as much as we are. All of us were very badly treated by the events of history
I think that’s what we were about when we set out on the road of conflict resolution and the most crucial engagement of all, dialogue with your political opponents. Now, how people see that and how they portray that is obviously a matter of individual opinion. But I think the view that matters for us is our own view of ourselves, the sense we have of ourselves and of the judgement that we made, that we had a powerful political contribution to make to improve the lives of all of the people who live on this island.
And I’m not just talking about the republicans and the nationalists: I’m also talking about the unionists, because, you know, I have believed for a considerable period of time that we are all victims of the history of this place, the unionists as much as we are. Some people might say, ‘Well, OK, they may have been victims, but they were better-off victims than you were,’ but in fact I don’t believe any of that. I think all of us were very badly treated by the events of history.
The big challenge, I think, for political leaders, even against the backdrop of hugely traumatic events, is to put yourself into a position where you can control events and bring them to make a positive contribution towards the resolution of conflict and the elimination of injustice and inequality.
People said, for example, that at the very beginning – say, in 1981 – the reason Sinn Féin came to be the political force it became was because Bobby Sands died on hunger strike and (opportunistically, in their view) Sinn Féin moved forward to fight elections. Now, [Bobby Sands’ death] obviously propelled the situation forward, but from my perspective, as one of those people who were thrust into a position of leadership, I (and, I know, many others, like Gerry Adams) was very determined to build Sinn Féin as a political party. We were always going to fight elections, and we were always going to come to this point where we are today.
Then, of course, we move on to the Good Friday Agreement, the referendum, the assembly election, the huge changes we’ve had to make within republicanism in terms of compromising – a dirty word for many, many years, but an important one given where we’ve all come from in recent years.
And then people say: ‘Sinn Féin only got the IRA to put weapons beyond use because [“9/11”] happened and the whole world was going to come down on the republicans like a ton of bricks.’ But that missed the point completely, because there are people within Sinn Féin, and within republicanism generally, who are genuinely, on a day-by-day, minute-by-minute basis, trying to make their own contribution to the resolution of conflict on this island.
I suppose of all of the leaders of Sinn Féin I was one who was very pushy about, ‘Well, is there anything the IRA could do to deal with the difficulties that are there within unionism? Can we give unionism a hand?’ We knew that even if we could, there was a possibility that, because of the tensions that exist within unionism, it still would be difficult for people who were pro-Agreement to come out pugnaciously against the anti-Agreement forces.
But I think we are always challenging ourselves to see what can be done. And, you know, we’ve also seen another event: the apology from the IRA over the deaths of non-combatants, and even – and this is significant – the reference in that statement to the fact that combatants who died also had loved ones who were pained and grieved. Of course, people had their own view of that, and some set out to try and diminish it. People said, ‘The IRA have only done this because Tony Blair was going to make a statement in the House of Commons.’ I know better than that.
People have said to me, ‘At least the IRA [have apologised]. Why do the British government not say anything about the people their soldiers killed?’
That initiative actually came about because a leading Protestant churchman, along with a relative of one of the people who had lost their lives on Bloody Friday,6On 21 July 1972, at least 21 bombs planted by the Provisional IRA in Belfast exploded in little more than an hour, killing nine people and seriously injuring some 130 others. Six people died at the city’s busiest bus station, and two women and a 14-year-old boy died outside shops on the Cavehill Road. Many hoax bomb warnings added to the terror and chaos. approached a member of Sinn Féin two months beforehand and stated the case that the anniversary was coming up and it would be a good idea if the IRA apologised for what happened on that day. And out of that came an even bigger statement, about all non-combatants who had lost their lives in 30 years. In my opinion, it was of huge political significance.
But people make up their own minds, and judgements and opinions are always tainted by wherever people are coming from themselves.
Some people would say that the IRA’s apology was a bit of historical revisionism – it said that the deaths of ‘non-combatants’ had not been intended, when in fact the way bombs were placed often indicated the very opposite. Many people are struggling with this.
Well, I think it is perfectly understandable that people will raise many different aspects of the statement which are of concern to them, and maybe we’re too close to it to fully analyse what all of this is about.
I see it as a very genuine attempt by the IRA to deal with the great injury and worse that was inflicted on people who lost relatives, not just on Bloody Friday but as a result of conflict in our country over 30 years. Some people, I think, harboured the idea that the apology might be a two-day wonder; but it’s not going to disappear, and it’s not going to for the very reason that you have outlined to me, that there are people out there who are struggling with its full implications, and they’re on all sides.
You know, I can understand people raising the issues that you raised but I can also understand, for example, that within the nationalist and the republican communities people will say, as they have said to me, ‘Well, at least the IRA did this. Why do the British government not say anything about the people that their soldiers killed? Why do the unionist political leaders not say anything about the deaths that were inflicted by loyalist paramilitaries?’
We’re too close to the IRA apology to deal with any of that, because that brings us into the whole what we describe as ‘the politics of what aboutery’. I think there needs to be a rational debate in relation to all of this – I actually think there are going to be huge implications for the entire process as a result of this statement, and this debate is going to go on for months and even years. And I think it is going to be a good debate. People will see positives and negatives from the IRA statement, but I think on the whole it will contribute greatly to the further work that needs to be done to bring this peace process to a successful conclusion.
Do you think that the statement that ‘it was not our intention to injure or kill non-combatants’ is true?
Well, you know, the IRA are not stupid: they know that every statement is going to be analysed and that people will come at it from different points of view and will raise questions about ‘What does this actually mean? What (for example) are you apologising for?’ And I think all of that is quite legitimate. But it also begs the question of the motivation for raising questions. Some people will do so for perfectly understandable reasons, other people will do so because they want to diminish the contribution that has been made through the IRA. So, how do you differentiate between what is going on?
It’s like, for example, the whole issue of the IRA putting arms beyond use. Everybody said prior to that, ‘If the IRA will do that, it will be a huge contribution,’ but as soon as the IRA did that, people who didn’t agree with the Agreement and who had great difficulty with the peace process said, ‘Well, we don’t trust General de Chastelain [the Canadian chair of the independent international commission on decommissioning]. What if the IRA didn’t put their weapons beyond use? What if this is all a con trick?’
We all have to recognise that the world is changing all about us. The peace process has made a huge difference to the politics of this island
You are talking to me as an elected representative, but the apology was issued, and the arms put beyond use, by unidentified people, which is one reason many people find it impossible to trust them. Is that going to change? Are the leaders of the IRA going to make themselves more available?And do you think that is necessary in order to build trust?
Well, what I would say about that is this: those people of whom you speak, who do not trust republicans, are the same people who accuse me of being a leading member of the IRA. But, I mean, I’m here. My door is open. I’ll meet them any time.
I’m thinking less of politicians out to score points than of ordinary folk, who may or may not be politicised – not least in England – who are unconvinced.
Yeah, but I think that’s one of the things we have to live with. The reality is that, given the nature of the process that we’ve been through, people make their judgements based on the actions of groups. I mean, the mere fact of the IRA calling their cessation in 1994, at a time when no one believed that there was going to be a cessation, was hugely important and, I think, had a massive impact on the international community – but also in England.
All of my travels to England and all my experience suggests that the vast majority of people in England want the peace process to work. The questioning voices are coming from here, from those people who find it really difficult to analyse why these things are happening. I always draw people’s attention to what I think was one of the most significant statements of the last maybe 100 years in our politics, made by James Molyneux [then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party] within 24 hours of the IRA’s cessation in 1994. He described it publicly as the most destabilising event since Partition.
And throughout the course of the process since then, no matter what republicans have done, there were always people who were prepared to say, ‘Ah, but that’s not enough,’ or ‘They’ve done it for this reason and they’re not really committed to peace.’
Whereas, for me, the people who took the decision to call a cessation in 1994, and who have been involved in all sorts of initiatives, have certainly proven, even against the backdrop of some incredible provocation, that they are absolutely committed to ensuring the success of the peace process.
As minister for education you have strongly supported the movement towards the integration of schools in Northern Ireland. Do you think it would be better if there were no church schools here?
When I became minister for education, I said that I didn’t believe that any of our schoolteachers taught hatred. I do passionately believe that. The vast majority, in every sector of our system, are good and decent people who have a real passion for education and do their best for their pupils. I think they are the heroes and heroines of our education system.
I also said that the foundation stones of my administration would be accessibility, equality, excellence and choice. And I think choice is important. It is my job to support the choices that parents make and I am more than willing to do that.
But I think that all of us have to recognise that the world is changing all about us, and in all probability there will be an increased demand for integrated education. I mean, I would be very passionate to see integrated housing estates. I wouldn’t have said this 10 years ago – I would have scared the living daylights out of myself; but the peace process has made a huge difference to the politics of this island.
I’ve hated the British Army in the past, I’ve hated the RUC, but I have come to terms with that a long, long time ago. I am older and I’m wiser and I’m much more philosophical
We’re in the early stages of all this. None of us believe that all of these problems are going to be resolved next week or next month. This is going to be over a period of time, and who knows where this is all going to lead us? I think it’s distorted by what is happening in east and north Belfast, but the reality is that the vast majority of people in Belfast and the rest of the north are getting on with their lives. They want this peace process to work and I think they are up for the challenge – and I think that their will is going to prevail.
And who are they? They’re the unionists and the loyalists, the nationalists and the republicans, the Catholics, the Protestants and the Dissenters, who know that this peace process is going to bring us to a better place than where we are now. We certainly know that where we are now is a far better place than where we were 10 years ago, and where we’ll be 10 years from now will be a far better place than where we are today if we keep going with it.
Hate is a very corrosive force. How have you dealt with your own feelings over the past 30 years?
Oh, I’ve hated the British Army in the past, I’ve hated the RUC in the past, but I have come to terms with that a long, long time ago. I am older and I’m wiser and I’m much more philosophical.
I think that it is important to take hate out of the equation, but it’s not possible to deal with these things in a day or a week: it’s over a period of time and people will progress at different speeds. It’s like the peace process: for some it’s not quick enough, for others it’s too quick. It’s just such a difficult process to manage.
I saw a striking photograph in the Observer of you and your son walking along the bank of a lake with a fishing rod, and it all looked very natural and warm. Do you understand the anger that an image like that generates in many people? A lot of children from the north of Ireland have appeared in the papers or on television over the years as part of a funeral cortège.
My children have not been unaffected by the troubles of the last 20 years, though of course not to the same degree as the children of whom you speak. Other children have been cast into the limelight in the most sad and tragic circumstances imaginable, and it’s heartbreaking. What can I do about that? All I can do is to be part of a process that brings it to an end, that is designed to ensure that we never again see children with tears streaming down their faces, whether it be behind the coffin of a British soldier or a member of a police force or the IRA. And that’s all that I can do.
Now, obviously, obviously, there will be all sorts of resentments within people, and I understand why people feel the need to point the finger. We are all good at blaming one another. What we all have to do is collectively recognise that we have a responsibility to ensure that the mistakes of the past are never repeated again, and we can only do that if we work together with one another in a sincere way.
People cast you in all kinds of different roles: some as the Michael Collins of the 21st century, others as a deeply cynical man who will do or say anything to get his own way. But perhaps one can also see your commitment to the peace process as something redemptive, an attempt to atone for the kind of things you were involved in back in the Seventies. Is that suggestion offensive to you? Is it in any sense true?
If that was the only reason that I was involved in the peace process, I don’t think that is a good enough reason, because redemption is about yourself and about what you’re looking for for yourself; and I’m not looking for anything for myself.
What I’m looking to do is use whatever limited talents I have to bring about an end of conflict and injustice in this country and to give our people a life – and when I talk about ‘our people’, I mean all of our people, no matter who they are or where they live. I mean, at the minute as minister for education I’m involved in trying to put through legislation in the Assembly to ensure a fair distribution of financial resources to all schools: doesn’t matter to me if they’re in the Falls Road or the Shanklin Road.
I’m involved in politics because I want to make things better. I want our children to live in a peaceful country, I want them to live in a country where people are broad-minded, where people are comfortable with each other, where we can respect difference and be comfortable with it. And I think we are going to get there. And if I play a small role in getting us there, I’ll be pleased with that.
How people decide what motivation I have to make that contribution, that’s a matter for them – I’m not concerned about that. I have to do what I think is right, and I think what I’m doing is right.
This edit was originally published in the October 2002 issue of Third Way. High Profiles had previously interviewed Gerry Adams, Ian Paisley and David Trimble in 1996 and John Hume, Mo Mowlam and Mary McAleese in 1998.
|⇑1||Samuel Devenney, 42, was beaten up by six men of the RUC who entered his home in the Bogside in Derry on 19 April 1969. He died 88 days later.|
|⇑2||Desmond Beattie, 19, was shot dead by a British soldier during street disturbances in the Bogside on 8 July 1971.|
|⇑3||Seamus Cusack, 27, was shot and fatally wounded by a British soldier during street disturbances in the Bogside in the small hours of 7/8 July 1971. He died shortly after being admitted to hospital.|
|⇑4||On 30 January 1972, a march took place in Derry, organised by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, to protest against internment without trial. Estimates of the numbers involved range from 3,000 to 30,000 men, women and children. After some young men broke away to attack a British Army barricade, men of the Parachute Regiment moved into the Bogside to make arrests, and ended by shooting dead 13 men (and wounding a further 13 or 14 people, one of whom died five months later), mainly by single shots to the head or torso. None of the dead appeared to have been armed. Six were aged 17.|
|⇑5||Republican prisoners demanding to be treated as political prisoners rather than common criminals finally went on hunger strike in 1980 and again in 1981, when 10 men starved themselves to death. The first to die was Bobby Sands, just elected MP for Fermanagh-South Tyrone.|
|⇑6||On 21 July 1972, at least 21 bombs planted by the Provisional IRA in Belfast exploded in little more than an hour, killing nine people and seriously injuring some 130 others. Six people died at the city’s busiest bus station, and two women and a 14-year-old boy died outside shops on the Cavehill Road. Many hoax bomb warnings added to the terror and chaos.|
Martin McGuinness was born in the Bogside in 1950 and educated at the Christian Brothers’ Technical College. Having failed his 11-Plus, he left school in 1965 with no formal qualifications and worked for three years in an abattoir.
He became involved in 1968 in the civil-rights protests and subsequent riots, joining the IRA possibly in 1969 and Sinn Féin in 1970. By 1971 he is widely believed to have been commander of ‘Free Derry’.
He has since acknowledged that he was second-in-command of the Provisional IRA in Derry in 1972 on Bloody Sunday. Later that year, he took part in secret talks in London between the IRA and William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which resulted in a truce which broke down after two weeks.
Throughout the Seventies he avoided internment by the British, but in 1973 he was arrested in Donegal, close to a car containing 250lb of explosives and 5,000 rounds of ammunition, and was sentenced to six months in prison. He was jailed again in the Republic of Ireland in 1974 for membership of the Provisional IRA.
By 1975 he is widely believed to have been director of operations of the IRA’s Northern Command. He is widely believed to have been appointed to the IRA’s seven-man ‘army council’ in the following year, and to have been its elected chief of staff from 1977 or 1978 until he resigned from the post in 1982.
In that year, he was elected as a Sinn Féin member of the short-lived Northern Ireland Assembly, under the slogan ‘Smash Stormont’.
He first stood for Parliament, against John Hume of the SDLP, in 1983 as the Sinn Féin candidate for Foyle. After two more unsuccessful attempts, he was returned in 1997 as MP for Mid Ulster with 40.1 per cent of the vote, and held the seat in 2001 with 51.1 per cent. He has never taken his place in the House of Commons because he cannot swear the compulsory oath of allegiance to the Queen.
He has acted as Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator since 1983. From 1990 to 1993 (the year he was named by The Cook Report on ITV as ‘Britain’s number-one terrorist’), he was in secret contact with representatives of the British government. In 1994, he joined the Sinn Féin delegation to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation established by the Irish government as part of the peace initiative. He played a crucial role in 1997-98 in the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement.
He has been a member of Sinn Féin’s national executive since 1985.
He was elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998 and, after devolution, joined the 12-member power-sharing executive that was created at the end of 1999, choosing the portfolio of minister for education.
He has been married since 1974 and has two daughters and two sons. He became a grandfather in 1999.
Up-to-date as at 1 October 2002