Martin McGuinness dies. Peacemaker or muderer?

  • Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister, has died aged 66.
    It's very hard, from a British point of view, to disregard McG's past, considering the amount of people he killed or ordered the deaths of. Not made any easier by showing no repentance or telling the families of his victims where the bodies are so they could be buried.

    However, he did help to steer the IRA to peace and Northern Ireland is a better place for that.

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  • Murderer in my view. Why the death of this evil man is getting so many crocodile tears from the various people including Blair I do not know. The fact that the Queen was forced to send condolences is a disgrace to the nation. He was responsible for hundreds of deaths, literally got away with murder and his continued silence on where the bodies are buried so their loved ones cannot have closure is disgusting. As his collusion in ensuring his fellow murderers got away with their crimes.

    I agree with Lord Tebbit. We can only hope there is particularly hot spot in Hell reserved for him.

  • I don't think any of us could forget the image of Norman Tebbit being dragged out of the rubble in his pyjamas from the Brighton hotel that the IRA bombed which paralysed his wife. They were lucky to survive and so it is no surprise he does not have warm words for McG.

    I suppose it all comes down to whether you thought "The Troubles" was a necessity to bring us to the situation we are in today. I say not.

    Irish nationalists, although discriminated against in Northern Ireland, still had lives, jobs (not the best, I'd agree) and so there was no compelling reason to turn to violence. Likewise, when Southern Ireland went independent, Dublin was the second biggest and richest city in the British Isles and the turn to violence was unnecessary at that time.

    What it goes to show is that if you act the bully, you'll get what you want or at least a ministerial job and chauffeur driven car.

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  • I think this is true for most of these rebels, H and M. Murder is not the way to express a cause. Often the revolutionaries eagerly supported by so many have blood on their hands and the only way to redeem this seems to be to build mythology round them to turn them into folklore heroes.

  • I always thought LW, that Bloody Sunday was the creation of the kind of mythology and folklore that you talk of.

    The IRA needed a enemy. The British soldiers were sent to NI to protect Catholics. The IRA could hardly allow the soldiers to be perceived as peacemakers, hence Bloody Sunday.

    We still do not know what really happened on that day. There is no doubt that British soldiers fired at and killed people, but why? I have always thought that IRA gunmen were there ready and waiting to lure the paras into a trap and it's not as if the paras needed much of a invitation to start shooting. Hence the creation of the martyrs to the IRA cause and their stories about the evil British began after that.

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  • It's all very unfortunate. It doesn't achieve anything. And there are so many soldiers and citizens suffering from the trauma the violence caused. I remember the graffiti: "Is there a life before death?" :(

  • Perhaps the world may get lucky and the "bearded one" might get some rare genetic disorder too. Although he looks healthier than ever and probably will live to 100.

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