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Give McGuinness rope to spin own noose


recognition for
war and peace

Martin McGuinness: Deserves recognition for war and peace

Martin McGuinness: Deserves recognition for war and peace

•Surely it is time to decommission the weapons of mass-distraction regarding Martin McGuinness's push for the Park? We can soon expect to see the charismatic Derry man marching about the countryside with a Carmelite in one arm and a ballot box in the other, as he completes his post-modern transformation into a God-fearing decent man on a mission to resurrect old Ireland from material damnation.

People will quickly see through the glassy-eyed recalling of what our fore-fathers won and lost in the name of freedom and the shallow talk of sacrifice and struggle in the pursuit of higher things.

That armed struggle involved car-bombings and carnage. The innocent civilians who died were not consulted about the "sacrifice" they were being called upon to make.

Mr McGuinness is a creature of the past and the past is another country. Most of us don't want to live in another country, so let's leave him there. He belongs to history and has earned his place, let him have it.

But just before we do, let him speak and let the Blueshirts hold their tongues. The more fiercely they attack, the more moderate and plausible his candidacy becomes, as he takes to the podium as the voice of reason and reconciliation amidst the din.

Give him the rope and he will make his own noose as he spins and weaves to contrive threads to bind himself to the people. These ties will not bind.

So good luck to him with that. The Sinn Fein peace strategist has achieved far more than any of his detractors would care to allow. But what he has not done, nor can ever do, is make himself relevant to our electorate.

He cannot identify with ordinary southerners because he has not taken the trouble to know them. Like Gerry Adams, the other part of the double act, he will be all things to every man.

But he will fail because he will not connect with the real people of this country. He chose to live in another jurisdiction, however disagreeable he may have found it. He played a key role in cementing peace in the North and for that he deserves recognition. But he also played a key role in the IRA's bloody campaign and that also deserves recognition.

His conversion to peace is admirable but it does not confer the right to be automatically anointed as president of Ireland

Nor will he be.

So enough of the histrionics and hyperbole; Martin McGuinness is as likely to become our president as Sammy Wilson is to become our Taoiseach.

C R Delacey
Co Waterford

Irish Independent