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Just how authentic a candidate is the real McGuinness?

SO which Martin McGuinness are you thinking of voting for?

Is it the man who appears to have given up arms for the sake of peace or the man who described the murder of a young woman as 'understandable?'

McGuinness has been democratically nominated. The question is just how authentic is he?

Maybe his democracy is a 'put on' because he realised bombing your way to a United Ireland would never work. Or maybe he did have a real change of heart.


Some people are good at being what you want them to be. In its extreme form this manifests as sociopathic behaviour.

They mimic what you meant to say and do though they don't actually feel or believe it. They can be cold blooded and play the right game

Now maybe Martin McGuinness has been wronged. Perhaps today he is not the man who previously helped run IRA operations in Derry and further afield.

Maybe he is a converted man. Let's examine the evidence.

When questioned on radio yesterday about his position in the IRA he hung up. Yes, hung up. Open transparent Martin? Not so sure about that one.

On Liveline yesterday Ann Travers spoke about her 23-year-old sister Mary who was shot dead in 1984 in south Belfast by the IRA.

Her father Tom, a resident magistrate, was shot six times, but survived.

Anne said that when her sister was shot 27 years ago, McGuinness had called it "regrettable but understandable".

Not so sure McGuinness is the President I would want meeting human rights groups.

Is the new Martin McGuinness the same man who refused to take part in a ceremony greeting the Queen?

You see now he says he would meet her if he was President. So what are his true beliefs? Are they predicated on the political winds or rooted in something of a deeper integrity?

I have met a few former IRA men who have genuine remorse for what they did.

They will explain how British troops and the likes of Ian Paisley fostered hatred for what they saw as occupying forces. Events like Bloody Sunday and the H-Blocks certainly did drive youngsters into the IRA.

So too did the housing and unemployment situations in Derry and Ballymurphy. So you think 'okay, they grew up in an environment I never knew.' And you don't ever condone butchery but you try and understand.

And then there are the other ones. I've met them too. You see it in their eyes, cold and calculated. Not too worried if someone gets killed.

They speak the script of reconciliation and adapt to their new environment very quickly. They're chameleon-like when they have to be, these guys.


There is something else to look at. I wonder, how much does McGuinness care about Northern Ireland when he is willing to give up the pivotal political position there. Consider too that it is in such a fledgling and still vulnerable state. How much does he care about that democracy?

A cynic might say that McGuinness is willing to drop the 'peace' he cared so much about just so that the Shinners can kick FF out of existence down South.

That, they argue, is the whole strategy behind this move. There may be truth in that. And where does that leave our Presidency?

So you will have to make your own mind up on Martin McGuinness.

But consider that David Norris had to resign from the race over a letter sent on Oireachtas notepaper in relation to a convicted rapist.

Martin McGuinness never sent letters as leader of the IRA on the Bogside but he sent commands. Will he come out and tell us what they were?

You'll be waiting a long time for the real Martin McGuinness, I fear.