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PostMartin McGuinness: Terrorist and Peacemaker (Nigel Jones, UK, 03/22/17 2:29 pm)
An interesting encounter for Patrick Mears (22 March) on the day of Martin McGuinness's demise. I have mixed feelings about the man, and his close companion Gerry Adams.
On the one hand, there is little doubt that McGuinness as a young IRA commander took part in and ordered acts of mass murder and torture, including of innocent civilian victims and children (if you count policemen and soldiers as non-innocents), which, whatever view is taken of Irish republicanism, were unforgivable. And many of his victims and their families do not forgive him, despite the statesmanship he showed more recently.
On the other hand, it is indisputable that with age and maturity McGuinness played a key role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland after decades of violence.
He is not the first former terrorist to renounce violence and pursue the path of peace. Jomo Kenyatta, Archbishop Makarios, and even the sainted Nelson Mandela took the same path, as did McGuinness's countryman Michael Collins.
Where I would fault McGuinness, however, is that he never once admitted his IRA rank, never apologised to his victims, and went to his grave apparently without repenting of his early crimes. According to the Christian Catholic religion which lies at the heart of Irish republicanism, forgiveness of sin can only follow true and genuine repentance.
JE comments: Nigel Jones wrote me off-Forum that he was in London today, but fortunately away from the Westminster area of the terrorist attack. WAISer Tim Ashby was not far from the incident, at the Carlton Club, but is also safe.