‘A Passionate Republican’


File Photo: Martin McGuinness Has Died. End. Martin McGuinness speaks in favour of the proposal to end abstentionism at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in the Mansion House in Dublin. The proposal was carried resulting in a minority of delegates, including former leader Ruairi O’Bradaigh walking out and setting up Republican Sinn Fein. 1986. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie
File Photo: This Monday will be a crucial day in the life of former Deputy First Minister and former leader of the Provisional IRA, Martin McGuinness as he faces into the latest crisis in the Northern Ireland Peace Process. End. Good Friday Agreement. L TO R. Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness look over the wire in Stormont Castle at lunch time after putting their final approval to the Good Friday (Belfast Agreement) peace agreement. 10/4/1998 Photo: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie
File Photo: Martin McGuinness Has Died. End. 27/06/2012. QUEEN MCGUINNESS HANDSHAKE. Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness watched by First minister Peter Robinson (centre) at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. Pic: Photo: RollingNews.ie/PA
File Photo: This Monday will be a crucial day in the life of former Deputy First Minister and former leader of the Provisional IRA, Martin McGuinness as he faces into the latest crisis in the Northern Ireland Peace Process. End. 16/7/2007. Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, and First Minister, the Rev Ian Paisley, at the press conference at Parliament Buildings, Stormont (Belfast), after their meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Pic. Albert Gonzalez/RollingNews.ie
13/11/2011 McGuinness Rally. Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness gets a great reception as he arrives for his Presidential Rally at the packed Mansion House in Dublin. Photo Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

From top: Martin McGuinness at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis, 1986; with Gerry Adams in 1998; Meeting the Queen with Peter Robinson, 2011; with Ian Paisley, 2007 and during the 2012 Presidential Election.

“Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness.

“He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the re-unification of his country.

“But above all he loved his family and the people of Derry and he was immensely proud of both.

“On behalf of republicans everywhere we extend our condolences to Bernie, Fiachra, Emmett, Fionnuala and Grainne, grandchildren and the extended McGuinness family.”

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

Martin McGuinness dies after short illness (RTÉ)


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47 thoughts on “‘A Passionate Republican’

    1. Clampers Outside!

      I lifted this from a good friend, who is a born and bred Northern Irishman, from his post on FB. I couldn’t agree more….

      ” Reading some of the comments on social about the death of Martin McGuinness shows just how far we have to go on this island.

      On one side you have people gloating on the death of a terrorist who maimed and murdered innocents, on the other, you have people lamenting the passing of a hero who facilitated peace.

      For me, and I was the same with Paisley, you have to respect someone who brings people to the ballot box over the gun. That’s not to say that I like Sinn Fein, I do not, they are devious and divisive at best, but I do respect anyone who move people in any small way to democracy. At the same time, you cannot hero worship someone who murders innocent people. No matter the cause, blowing up people indiscriminately and calling it military action is vile butchery and not the actions of a warrior or hero.

      To move forward, each side must start to recognise that people like McGuinness cannot be put into simplistic boxes like hero and villain. His actions as an IRA commander took lives and his actions as a politician probably saved them.

      The sooner we consign people like him to the past while being respectful of the fact that they were a product of their time and situation, the better we will all be. “

      1. Brother Barnabas

        nice one, clampers

        (especially nice coming (indirectly, I know) from you – fair play)

      2. petey

        “you have to respect someone who brings people to the ballot box over the gun.”

        it’s a mug’s game to use the gun and bring others to the gun, then gain acclaim for leading people away from the gun.

        1. Kolmo

          If politics are made impossible for reasonable people to seek reasonable civilised demands – guess what happens?

      3. 15p

        and there it is .. the only good contribution clampers ever made or will make to a comments section. at least he made it a really good one. tip of the cap. day of ceasefire, and we’ll go back to arguing tomorrow.

    1. Scundered

      True, it’s hard to hold back if you have lost family members because of his actions, however I praise his decision to mend his violent ways. May he rest at peace.

  1. mauriac

    de mortius nihil nissi bonun and all that but a man who sanctioned the murder of a single mother of eleven in front of her kids, to pick just one of the horrors​ commited under his command, does not deserve the glowing tributes.

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      You are, of course, right about that. But I don’t think the plaudits are for that at all. It would be deeply insulting to the many victims of the paramilitaries to imply that. But an acknowledgement that while he committed some truly hideous crimes in the name of the republicans, he also withdrew from violence and was one of those who attempted peace and managed, in a way, to achieve it with the Good Friday Agreement must be made.

      I am lucky that I am young enough not to remember most of the Troubles, and I’ve said before, it means that I don’t understand the very emotive scars that were left after the fighting had ended, so perhaps I am missing the mark entirely here.

      But I think we must acknowledge Martin’s chequered past, and the efforts he made for peace, that there was both good and bad to the man.

  2. Daisy Chainsaw

    He was honest about his past and he worked tirelessly for peace in Northern Ireland. RIP

  3. Otis Blue

    Ed Moloney’s A Secret History of the IRA is a brilliant chronicle of the Troubles. The journey and risks taken by Adams, McGuinness and others in contributing to the peace is a riveting read.

    However it should be said that this journey came about when it was evident to Adams, McGuinness et al that the violent struggle was futile. This became apparent to them much latter than some but much, much sooner than others. Whatever anyone thinks of them and the atrocities that they were associated with they deserve enormous credit in securing the peace.

    At the end of it all I imagine McGuinness made his peace with it.

    1. Murtles

      I agree, the man was no angel but to reflect on his life as a whole, his actions prevents more deaths than he caused. To step out of an extremist mind set to give peace a go, especially when even your own party is against you, is a rarity. For him and Paisley to meet in the middle was extraordinary. You’ll get narrow views like Postypats there that won’t look at the full picture and don’t realise it’s only the future that can be changed.

  4. Formerly known as @ireland.com

    Martin knew when to take up arms to defend his community, he also knew when it was time to put down arms, in order to help his community.

  5. RuilleBuille

    Been here before. Jomo Kenyatta, Archbishop Makarios, Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, George Washington, Mohandas Gandhi, Michael Collins, Kenneth Kaunda, Chin Peng, Menachem Begin, Saad Zaghloul. All so-called ‘terrorists’ who were later welcomed at Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street.

    Reading some of the comments above you’d swear it was only the IRA who killed people.

      1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

        Whitewash — how much do the British learn about Bloody Sundays, about the work of Cromwell, about their forays into Africa and Australia?

        1. Zena

          +1 Fomerly

          The selective memory syndrome candidates are still drowning in their own scuttered ignorance.

      1. Owen

        Ah, wait, you were not just listing dead dudes. I see Rob (the poor) Mugabe and Men Begin Nice on there now.

        Right. No more google searches for dead dudes.

  6. Rainy Day

    A complex legacy no doubt. However you need to pause and reflect before you pay tribute to a man who was OK with proxy bombs.
    Proxy bombs were a terrible kind of evil, a way that ensured innocent people were killed in whatever action was being undertaken, Many times these innocent people were from their own community. I could never be OK with that.
    They ruled their own community through fear and intimidation, if you did not agree with their aims and ideals you were dispensable, your life meant very little and your hands could be the next ones tied to the steering wheel driving a car full of explosives towards a checkpoint. In my opinion only a cold, ruthless, evil individual could be OK with that.

    1. tj

      Martin Mcguinness addressed an injustice by an even greater injustice. He freely engaged in a campaign of murder and mayhem. He was not some romantic rebel . Would a rebel have spent so much
      time denying his past? The tributes may console his family and they should not be denied. History, however, should not tread so carefully on his legacy.

  7. Shayna

    Norman Tebbitt was quoted as saying that he hoped that Martin McGuinness ” would now be in a hot place for all eternity”. Christian forgiveness is clearly a fallacy.
    When he and Ian Paisley were Deputy and First Minister, he suggested that they should take office at Stormont Castle, which was occupied by the then Secretary of State for NI, Peter Hain – he said to Ian Paisley, “You know you’ve written a ‘Brits Out letter’? ”
    It’s difficult, I know for people of a certain age and geographical location to understand the goings on during the 70s/80s/90s in the top bit of Ireland. It certainly wasn’t altogether pleasant. Pretty much everyone I knew at home were “involved”. Martin McGuinness never shied away from his involvement – someone has to be in charge?
    I shook his hand at the opening of my local GAA Community Centre, where he was instrumental in the funding. That’s the guy I’ll remember. R.I.P.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Tebbitt was particularly scathing today. He also referred to Derry as ‘Londondry’

  8. Kieran Nice Young Chap

    Interesting to see who’s ‘allowed’ to have a nuanced version of their life told and who isn’t.

    Just think. If he had won the 2011 Presidential election, we’d have to give him a state funeral now.

  9. Scundered

    I wonder will there be machine guns at the funeral and obese men wearing poor taste 1980’s sunglasses?

    1. Cian

      Interesting. If there are a slew of politicians, from across the political spectrum and from NI, Westminster and Dublin, at the graveside will they still do (be able to do) the whole flag, balaclavas, and gun salute?

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