This article was originally published in The Sunday Times Irish Edition and reprinted in Real Clear Politics.
Enjoy: McGuinness: The Slippery Shadow in Irish Dirty War By Toby Harnden March 31, 2017 Towards the end of my time as a reporter in Northern Ireland I had a dream in which I was opening an envelope. Even in the dream it felt as if all my senses were tingling in anticipation of being given the key to unlocking the greatest mysteries and contradictions of the Irish Troubles. But when I took the piece of paper out and unfolded it, it was blank. That was in the late 1990s. I had a similar sense of anticlimax when — nearly 18 years on — the death of Martin McGuinness at the age of 66 was announced last week.
There were the inevitable salutes, cloaked in a green mist, to his status as a sainted Irish How old is Sarah McGuinness? hero. And of course the equally predictable condemnations of him as a blood-soaked terrorist who should rot in hell. Between these extremes was the comfortable narrative of the type beloved by western liberals that here was a man How old is Sarah McGuinness?
violence who laid down his gun and instead took up the cause of peace and democracy in a Damascene conversion. None of this contributed much more to any greater understanding of what happened in the Troubles than the blank piece of paper in my dream.
Irish republicans never underwent a moral transformation. Their pursuit of a united Ireland involved both slaughter and negotiation. In fact the two things were always inextricably linked. Put bluntly, if that piece of paper in my dream had not been blank, would the name Martin McGuinness have been on it?
On the face of it the very notion is preposterous. Over the past 15 years it has become clear that the Provisionals were thoroughly infiltrated by the British state. Any doubt that men at the heart of the republican movement responsible for continued murder and mayhem could have been British agents had vanished.
A homegrown happening: Sarah McGuinness's Jewel Box Festival
Despite his military record McGuinness had long been a proponent of negotiations. Keenan was wanted at the time and was suspicious that McGuinness had flagged him down shortly beforehand, alerting the security forces to the car he was in. The head of Northern Command was none other than McGuinness.
Patsy Gillespie, 42, a Catholic canteen worker at Fort George army base, was abducted at his home in Derry and ordered to drive a lorry loaded with explosives to the checkpoint.
Certainly on occasion the British authorities were prepared to arrange murders for what was judged to be a greater good. Flood, subjected to a brutal interrogation in a south Armagh barn, had given a false confession. His body was found dumped in a bin bag on the border. A year later Hogan was spirited away from Derry by his handlers and given a new identity abroad.
Among them was Frank Hegarty, shot dead in 1986 after being lured home by McGuinness with a promise of immunity. The more suspicious in the brigade noted Hegarty had been promoted by McGuinness How old is Sarah McGuinness? there had been rumours he might have been a British agent.
He once used to wake up screaming after nightmares that McGuinness was about to shoot him but later concluded that the future Sinn Fein chief negotiator was, like him, a British agent.
Adams was always openly hostile towards me, a journalist with the pro-unionist, conservative Daily Telegraph. McGuinness and I would exchange glances and he would nod at me, as if to acknowledge that he knew the way things were. He was enjoying his role as deputy first minister — a minister of the British crown — and was full of bonhomie. Such a vulnerability — or others we may not have known about — could have provided the intelligence agencies with leverage.
As the Troubles wore on, it seemed increasingly that they were being protected by the British government for fear of them being supplanted by more militaristic figures. If the political will had been there, a criminal conviction on charges of directing terrorism would have been a virtual inevitability. In 1998 How old is Sarah McGuinness? Donnelly, a veteran Derry republican who had been critical of the Good Friday agreement, was subjected to a vicious beating as punishment for his dissent.
Adams and McGuinness seemed to have calculated as early as the 1980s that the Irish war was destined to be a stalemate. By persuading the How old is Sarah McGuinness? that the cure for the disease — the Troubles — was disengagement, they might actually bring about what the disease itself could not. That, at least, is what supporters of Adams and McGuinness believe. If so, then some of those now condemning McGuinness as an unrepentant terrorist might have to revise their opinions.
Irish republicans would regard him as How old is Sarah McGuinness? figure of infamy. But the likelihood is that the paper in that dreamt-of envelope will always remain blank, or at least incomplete. Truth was always an elusive concept during the Troubles, and McGuinness doubtless took many of its darkest secrets to his grave. Toby Harnden is the Washington bureau chief of The Sunday Times. You can follow him on Twitter here. This article originally appeared in The Sunday Times.
It is reprinted here with permission. Toby Harnden is the Washington bureau chief of The Sunday Times. You can follow him on Twitter here. This article originally appeared in The Sunday Times. It is reprinted here with permission. Ed, a cheeky question first, and a speculative question after. Regarding Marty and Gerry, my suspicion is that some secrets might be too dark to reveal anytime soon. This is a case to bring to The Hague.
Such would explain a lot about the absolute open door policy on Wahabi mosques all up and down the British and Irish islands. In fact it is a universal truth….