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Martin McGuinness: 1950 – 2017 March 21, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Sad, unexpected and unwelcome news.

 

Mr McGuinness, 66, died early this morning at Derry’s Altnagelvin Hospital with his family by his bedside.

He had been diagnosed with a rare heart disease in December.

A former member of the IRA’s Army Council, he became Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator in the peace process.

He led the party into power-sharing with the DUP in 2007 and served as deputy first minister alongside Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster.

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1. Owltwoole - March 21, 2017

A man still in his prime beannacht maith agus dea-luck

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2. oconnorlysaght - March 21, 2017

Not altogether unexpected. I saw the photos when he announced he was retiring. May he rest in peace.

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3. GW - March 21, 2017

It was a huge stroke of luck for us that Martin McGuinness had so much say in the military and political wings of the largest republican group in the North during the last decades.

I don’t think the peace process would have been bought to a successful conclusion without him.

The effect of Brexit on the continuance of that process was a major concern of his towards the end:

To quote Alistair Campbell (can’t quite believe I’m doing that!):

… we [McGuinness and Campbell] had a chat about Brexit. Unlike me, he has had the advantage of a meeting with Mrs May about it. He was on the rampage about Brexit. He feared there was a lack of understanding about the potential unintended consequences for the peace process. In particular he was shocked at the lack of thinking about how we could leave the single market and the Customs Union without a hard border and the risks that posed to the process. He worried about leaving Europe and he worried about the way British politics was going. He said he was worried Britain was turning into a one-party state.

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WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2017

+1

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4. GW - March 21, 2017

I wouldn’t click on the wikidot spam links above.

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irishelectionliterature - March 21, 2017

just got rid of it.

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5. GW - March 21, 2017

And cue the compulsory photograph in the Guardian of Corbyn with McGuinness in the 80s.

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WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2017

The comments section btl is particularly noxious today

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Michael Carley - March 21, 2017

Can’t see the comments (have they switched them off?) but Tebbitt would have done better to say nothing.

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WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2017

I have a certain human sympathy but the tone…

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Michael Carley - March 21, 2017

Indeed, especially given that other people whose relatives were killed, from Queen Elizabeth to Colin Parry, could find a kind word. Even Paisley managed it.

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EWI - March 22, 2017

I have a certain human sympathy but the tone…

This would be the same Tebbit who has ‘interesting’ opinions about Jimmy Saville.

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Ed - March 23, 2017

Tebbit is a voice from the crypt, and has been for many years. You might as well ask Nosferatu what he thought. McGuinness, on the other hand, was a well-respected, active and highly influential figure up until the final months of his life. He’s gone but won’t be forgotten for a long time; Tebbit was forgotten a long time ago but still isn’t gone.

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GW - March 21, 2017

Never look at comments subject to systematic organised trolling. That way madness lies.

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WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2017

Good advice

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Michael Carley - March 21, 2017

Can’t find that one, do you have a link?

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GW - March 21, 2017
Michael Carley - March 21, 2017

Thanks. This is interesting:

“I will never forget Martin looked over from the passenger’s seat and as we were waiting for the Brits and the cops to get out us out the car, to harass us, he said, ‘Do you ever wonder about it all? Do you ever think what is the point of shooting some part-time UDR man [a part-time soldier in a locally recruited British Army regiment] who is delivering milk or driving a school bus? Do you ever think if it’s worth it?’

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/21/how-martin-mcguinness-moved-from-ira-violence-to-mainstream-politics

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GW - March 21, 2017

Yes – you do wonder at what point he recognised that military victory was unlikely. Sometime in the 80s I guess but just when is unclear.

Or what would have happened had he not failed the 11-plus for that matter.

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Michael Carley - March 21, 2017

This too was interesting,

“Everybody, if they are serious about politics and if they are serious about trying to make people’s lives better, has to consistently challenge themselves as political activists about how they can do that and in the run into the late 80s and the early 90s I did read a number of theses that were written by very senior generals in the British Army for various universities in England, and the common theme that ran through all of them was that they all conceded that they couldn’t militarily defeat the IRA.

“And an awful lot of IRA people were very happy about that and an awful lot of Republicans all over the island thought, you know, this was a great thing because what it did do, it showed, if you like, in one regard some sort of respect that they had for the military capabilities of the IRA, but for me it posed a bigger question and the bigger question that it posed for me was well, ‘if that’s what the senior generals in the British Army believe, what do republicans believe about its ability to defeat the British Army?

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/eamonn-mallie-the-road-i-travelled-with-martin-mcguinness-1.3018660

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GW - March 21, 2017

And it was 1995 – my bad.

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6. Aonrud ⚘ - March 21, 2017

I had a look at the President’s statement, partly to see if it had anything that would set off the usual suspects again. Seems uncontroversial: http://www.president.ie/en/media-library/news-releases/statement-by-president-michael-d.-higgins-on-the-death-of-martin-mcguinness

Nonetheless, cue RDE and pals having a little bile and outrage party on Twitter, bless them.

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WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2017

Mark Humphreys… 😦

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Aonrud ⚘ - March 21, 2017

Damn it, Wbs – you made me look…

To be fair, it’s my own fault. Like someone with a sore tooth who can’t stop poking at it.

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WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2017

MH has a little list and the CLR is on it. Ah well.

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RosencrantzisDead - March 21, 2017

And what a list it is.

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An Sionnach Fionn - March 21, 2017

I’m still waiting for my claim to fame by appearing on his list of “radical agenda” types, as Arlene might say. I must be doing something wrong 😦

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2017

Count your lucky stars ASF! not sure if you caught this at the time… it was like we were ticking off his thoughtcrime bingo card… left wing, republican, insufficiently critical of Islam (a burning question to him) etc voices on the site.

https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/making-a-list-checking-it-twice-gonna-find-out-whos-naughty-or-right/

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EWI - March 22, 2017

I found myself added to it more than a decade ago. I have to admire his industry as a crank, if nothing else.

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Michael Carley - March 22, 2017

I’ve just looked. I’d forgotten I was on it.

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RosencrantzisDead - March 22, 2017

Liked by 1 person

RosencrantzisDead - March 22, 2017

As an aside, our obsessive cataloguer makes much of his opposition to Trump.

However, this antipathy stems from his belief that Trump is too easy on Muslims and has no real plans for ‘counter-jihad’.

How has he not become a member of BICO?

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Starkadder - March 21, 2017

Wonder what RDE & co. will do when a real mass murderer, like the darling of the Reagan Administration, Efraín Ríos Montt kicks the bucket? I suspect they’ll either ignore it or go on about omelettes and broken eggs.

Martin McGuinness…. I still think the PIRA’s (and OIRA’s & INLA’s) violent campaign was a mistake, but it took a big man to move them away from that campaign towards constitutional politics, and McGuiness was that man. RIP Martin.

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WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2017

+1

Just re their response to others I always think the attitude to Pinochet’s arrest in the U.K. was very revealing in that regard.

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EWI - March 22, 2017

I think the correct frame is that their switch to a primacy of so-called ‘constitutional politics’ was just revolution by other means, as it was a hundred years previously with the Fenians and the New Departure, and other such tactical changes by Irish republicanism in the past couple of centuries.

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7. irishelectionliterature - March 21, 2017

When Sinn Fein were voiced over ….

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8. roddy - March 21, 2017

This site is to be commended on how it has dealt with Martin’s death in contrast to other blogs and media outlets.

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WorldbyStorm - March 22, 2017

I think many of us would admire and respect what he did across the years – that he made a genuine difference and a positive one. And that, as he said, the tendency of some to load the weight of the conflict on his shoulders (or on those of Republicans) was, and in no way averting eyes from the very negative aspects of the conflict, simplistic and ahistorical.

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9. Pasionario - March 21, 2017

As I see it, Adams, McGuinness and their fellow pub-bombers helped dig Northern Ireland into a massive hole. But once they realized (secretly at first) how deep and horrible that hole was, they worked harder than anyone else to dig themselves out again and did so with mesmerizing political skill and discipline.

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10. Gerryboy - March 21, 2017

I didn’t agree with the Provo bombing and shooting campaign between 1970 and 1994, but… [complete the sentence in your own words]
John Major, former prime minister, gave an interesting interview on BBC 4 radio at lunchtime today.

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WorldbyStorm - March 22, 2017

Very interesting.

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11. shea - March 21, 2017

Found a lot of what he came out with in the last few years hard to take but amazing focus in the man.

I think blair summed him up best today. ‘the same single mindedness he had for the armed struggle he had for the peace process’

on trying to pin down the road to Damascus type conversion a lot are at today, circumstances changed. Up to Tatcther and part of major the strategy was to isolate, deal with the north as a security problem.

Liked by 1 person

EWI - March 22, 2017

on trying to pin down the road to Damascus type conversion a lot are at today, circumstances changed. Up to Tatcther and part of major the strategy was to isolate, deal with the north as a security problem.

As the ROI were more than happy to facilitate until Haughey (to a degree) but especially Reynolds.

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Gerryboy - March 22, 2017

Agree strongly with shea and EWI. Northern Ireland was an ulcerous political scandal and had to be resolved politically, with working class and other low income Catholics and Protestants involved in negotiations. British and Irish governments wrongly thought they could solve the problem above the heads of the belligerent little folk.

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12. irishelectionliterature - March 22, 2017

http://www.irishnews.com/news/2017/03/22/news/foster-still-undecided-about-attendance-at-requiem-mass-972620/
THE DUP last night said party leader Arlene Foster was still undecided as to whether she would attend Martin McGuinness’s funeral………

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13. CL - March 22, 2017

Tributes flow in. From Bertie Ahern, John Major, Bill Clinton, Theresa May, Tony Blair, David Trimble, Enda Kenny.
Tricolour to fly at half-mast over Leinster House.

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14. fergal - March 22, 2017

Reports of his death have been accompanied by brief history lessons and various clips from the archives- while watching these a thought occurred to me.Has there ever been an apology for the 50 years of one party rule by the Official Unionists? Ever? I know the loyalist paramilitaries expressed remorse at their ceasefire announcement, but has unionism ever said sorry for the ‘orange’ state?

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WorldbyStorm - March 22, 2017

Not that I ever read. Trimbles ‘cold house’ comes closest.

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15. Michael Carley - March 23, 2017

Not something you’ll see mentioned in GB: criticism of McGuinness for not being hard-line enough:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/veteran-cork-republican-criticises-martin-mcguinness-1.3020792

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16. Gearóid - March 23, 2017

It’s unfortunate that Sophie Long of the PUP got significant criticism from within the party for expressing condolences to McGuinness’ family and fellow party members, her critics should remember the magnanimity republicans showed when David Ervine died ten years ago last January,

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17. oconnorlysaght - March 23, 2017

Conventional wisdom (as distinct from Tebbittalk on the one hand and hagiography on the other) would describe McGuinness as being a man of violence (boo!) converted to a man of peace (hallelujha!). The truth is less stark. The vast majority of those involved saw the struggle whether for civil rights or for Irish unity as one in which resources were to be concentrated on the Six County front. The support of the people of the twenty-six county state was taken as given, in much the same way as Hilary Clinton took for granted her support in the rust states of the USA. This reduced the value of the only alternative to physical force, the mass mobilisations which could have stimulated sympathy in the republic were limited and disappeared entirely after Bloody Sunday and Newry, leaving armed struggle as the only obvious way forward.
Having said that, it should be recognised that the armed struggle made possible the Good Friday Agreement. Those who deny this should compare the GFA with what was on offer when the ghettoes were invaded in ’69. On the other hand, whether the Agreement does provide a basis for a democratic NI, let alone a democratic United Ireland remains an open question.
As I mailed earlier, let Martin Mcguiness rest in peace.

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EWI - March 23, 2017

Conventional wisdom (as distinct from Tebbittalk on the one hand and hagiography on the other) would describe McGuinness as being a man of violence (boo!) converted to a man of peace (hallelujha!). The truth is less stark.

I note that the ‘peaceful’ British establishment had no issues with turning the Paras loose, with running pseudo-gangs, with shoot-to-kill. And McGuinness is only one in a long line of dedicated Irish Republicans, going all the way back to the likes of Michael Davitt, who were merely continuing the struggle by other means.

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18. oconnorlysaght - March 23, 2017

Agreed. But the media swallowed the Brit line.

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