Interviews with Martin McGuinness in Hot Press March 31, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Jason O’Toole of Hot Press has compiled a number of interviews Martin McGuinness had with that magazine into a five page special. It makes for fascinating reading:
His father instilled respect in him for other religious beliefs. “My father died in 1973. He went to mass and communion every day of his life. But he was one of the most broadminded people I ever met. His closest friend was a
fellow worker – he was a Protestant – and the two of them were like brothers. There wasn’t a sectarian bone in his body. Their friendship had a very big impact on me.”
Martin was adamant that all religions should be considered equal. “We were brought up to respect everybody’s religion,” he said. “And to respect those who don’t believe in anything. I have to say that I respect all of them. There are times I sit in Protestant churches for different events that I am invited to, and I feel as comfortable in a Protestant church, or Church of Ireland, or Methodist church, as I would in a Catholic church.”
He had no apology to offer for his decision to become an IRA man. “The thing people in Dublin have to ask themselves is, if they happened to be 18 years of age on the streets of Derry and saw people murdered by the British army, what would they do? Some of them would not become involved in the IRA, but no doubt a large percentage of them would.”
I have little doubt that Martin McGuinness would have admitted to being an IRA member post-1974 if it hadn’t been illegal for him to do so. I also believe he was uncomfortable dodging the bullet on this question.
“It’s a bit of an anomaly, in my view,” he told me, “that people can still be arrested for things that they would be accused of happening way back 30/40 years ago. The difficulty with it is that the only people who seem to be arrested
are republicans. We don’t see too many members of the British Army or the old RUC arrested.”
There’s a lot more and I found it genuinely interesting. A tea drinker too, but not…
His Wikipedia profile classifies Martin McGuinness as a Pioneer. “That’s wrong,” he said. “I don’t consider myself a Pioneer. Every now and again I would take a glass of red wine with a meal. But that would be it. It doesn’t happen that often. I don’t go to the pub. I don’t drink beer. I’m not critical of anybody who does, it’s just I would prefer to be in my own house with a cup of tea watching The Sunday Game.”
“I did drink in the early days,” he added. “But the situation in Derry was so serious, in 1972, I took a decision that I would cease drinking. I’ve never really regretted it.”