Thursday 27 April 2017

Everyone who grew up in North faced the same stark choices

It's impossible to appraise Martin McGuinness's life without fully acknowledging the dark deeds that he did
Legacy: McGuinness made some atrocious choices that directly ruined hundreds of people's lives, and he never appeared to be that sorry about it Photo: David Conachy
Legacy: McGuinness made some atrocious choices that directly ruined hundreds of people's lives, and he never appeared to be that sorry about it Photo: David Conachy

Eilis O'Hanlon

Martin McGuinness did not start the Troubles, went a much-retweeted post on social media last week, but he did help bring them to an end.

Both statements are undoubtedly true. Unfortunately, they miss out a crucial bit of the story, which is all the years in the middle when the former deputy First Minister spent decades keeping the Troubles going, before deciding "for whatever reason", as Bill Clinton put it in his eulogy at McGuinness's funeral in Derry last Thursday, to give politics a go instead.

Clinton speaks beautifully, making the listener want to go along with whatever he's saying, just to be a part of the spell he's weaving. His rhetorical skills are those of the seducer, and are powerful skills when turned to political ends.

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