Former IRA terror commander Martin McGuinness has died at the age of 66; in Irish politics he will be remembered both as an IRA Commander and his part in the peace process.
Years ago I watched a programme called ‘The Cooke Report’ which was fronted by Roger Cooke, one of the programmes featured McGuinness as part of a story.
It was alleged that Martin McGuinness had approached the mother of a man that the IRA wanted to get hold of, the meeting was supposed to take place in the South of Ireland. It was said that the meeting was a ‘talk’ and that McGuinness had guaranteed the man’s safety.
The man was murdered!
I always remember this story as much as the big IRA stories of the killing of Lord Mountbatten, the Brighton Hotel explosion; the Guildford and Birmingham pub bombings and of course the 1987 Enniskillen "Poppy Day" bomb.
The terror campaign by the IRA killed many innocent people, too many, too many young people; it divided
Ireland and left deeply scarred
communities. I love Ireland, I have been there a few times in my youth, and
found the people to be absolutely first class only too happy to help strangers.
If you haven’t visited then you are missing out on a real treat.
How do I feel about the death of Martin McGuinness, neither happy or sad, I remember the evil that he done in targeting innocent people, today we will be seeing politicians pay “tribute” to McGuinness saying how he was a passionate man of peace and of course leaving out his past, his victims will fill in that aspect of his life.
One person who isn’t sad about the death of Martin McGuinness is Norman Tebbit, whose wife was paralysed by an IRA bomb. The
Brighton bomb was an attempt to kill as many senior
Conservatives at their party conference as possible.
Lord Tebbit has today said the 'world is a sweeter place.'
He was nearly killed and his wife was paralysed for life, it is understandable that he hasn’t forgotten the night that the IRA struck the hotel.
Lord Tebbit says that Martin McGuinness turning to peace 'to save his own skin' because he wanted to avoid being charged with murder.
'The world is a sweeter place today. He was a coward who never atoned for his crimes. There can be no forgiveness without a confession of sins'.
When asked about McGuiness’s role in the peace process he said:
'You might just as well say that if Himmler had succeeded Hitler and wiped out the Jews it would have removed the problem and there could have been peace in
Lord Tebbit in a less then generous mood concluded:
'He claimed to be a Roman Catholic. I hope that his beliefs turn out to be true and he'll be parked in a particularly hot and unpleasant corner of hell for the rest of eternity.'
Lord Tebbit has always refused to forgive Mr McGuinness for his terrorist past because 'forgiveness requires confession of sins and repentance'….. there was none of that.'
Five people were killed in the Brighton bombing, those killed were Conservative MP Sir Anthony Berry, Eric Taylor (North-West Area Chairman of the Conservative Party), Lady (Jeanne) Shattock (wife of Sir Gordon Shattock, Western Area Chairman of the Conservative Party), Lady (Muriel) Maclean (wife of Sir Donald Maclean, President of the Scottish Conservatives), and Roberta Wakeham (wife of Parliamentary Treasury Secretary John Wakeham).
The IRA claimed responsibility the next day, and said that it would try again. Its statement read:
“Mrs. Thatcher will now realise that
Britain cannot occupy our country
and torture our prisoners and shoot our people in their own streets and get
away with it. Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky
once. You will have to be lucky always. Give Ireland peace and there will be no
Stephen Gault whose father, Samuel, was one of 11 people killed in the 1987 Enniskillen "Poppy Day" bomb, said he would remember Mr McGuinness only as a "terrorist".
There will be a lot of mixed emotions today for people who lost loved ones who were killed by the IRA, in the end what did the ‘troubles’ really achieve?
Was the loss of life of all those innocent people worth it, as I said I always remember the man murdered who the subject of The Cooke Report, what were his final hours like?
As he lay dying did Martin McGuiness regret his actions, did he see the faces and remember the names of all the people who were murdered by the IRA?
One thing is certain; Martin McGuiness goes to his grave with secrets.
George LairdThe Campaign for Human Rights at