Friday 23 June 2017

From prisoner to peace maker - he made unthinkable now acceptable

Martin McGuinness in 2012
Martin McGuinness in 2012
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

He did the unthinkable and made it acceptable - from toasting Queen Elizabeth to attending Armistice Day events for the World War I dead. When Martin McGuinness became convinced that armed resistance should be set aside in favour of negotiation and ultimately power-sharing, he carried his community with him. That's why his legacy is peace.

Only the ungracious would begrudge him the hard-earned title of statesman. While he began in violence, he ended in reconciliation. An overview of his career shows someone whose evolution in thinking helped to shape Irish history and reconfigure it for the better.

Once he signed up to a settlement, he was sincere about building bridges with unionists, laying the foundations for peace after three decades of violence.

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