Thursday 8 December 2016

South is a whole different ball game

The real problem with Martin McGuinness as a candidate is that he has too much history, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 25/09/2011 | 05:00

WHAT Martin McGuinness's entry into the presidential race says about the current mood of the Irish people will be revealed in late October when the votes are counted. What it says about Sinn Fein is already grimly apparent.

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It's not just that the Butcher Boy is angry to be asked about his IRA past. He's actually baffled. He doesn't get it. Sinn Fein is ready for absolute silence on this matter. Why isn't everyone? The North does what it's told. Why doesn't the Republic? That's how Republicans see the world.

Wherever they're at, intellectually, historically, strategically, is where everyone else should be at too. If they're ready to give up the armed campaign, so should everyone. If they're finally ready to abandon an ideological purity for which thousands died and embrace a power-sharing arrangement which was on offer 30 years ago instead, so should everyone. If they're ready for the Presidency, then please stand aside whilst they march towards the Aras and collect the prize.

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