The power of Twitter. Thank you Matt Carthy MEP who noticed my tweet @canisgallicus and replied. I attended “Towards a United Ireland at the Mansion House yesterday. You spoke and other spoke with Passion, Enthusiam, Vision. This is an article I wrote back in 2005; yesterday makes it still relevant just moved on a decade. I intend to write up the notes I took at the 2017 Towards a United Ireland later.
Written on Citizen Journalism site
Sunday February 13th, 2005
by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Ethics
Reference to Sunday World article by Paul Williams –
‘Why Sinn Fein are a bunch of lying, stealing, cheating, hypocritical bastards?
Freedom of the Press is to be valued and not put in jeopardy. I lived in Zimbabwe in the 1990’s and alas I witnessed what control of the Press was all about……Let us preserve our right to report taking account of the words Ethics, Morality, Justice, Human Rights, Civil Rights, Peace…………..
‘The area covered by your life is not as important as what you build on it‘
What has happened to media coverage by certain people in Ireland? I ask the question do certain journalists, writers, orators need to address their own emotional interpretation of situations?
What about Truth, Peace, Reconciliation? When do we learn to forgive and put in place the process going forward, as suggested by former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, who was interviewed on radio, at lunchtime today?
Do you realize that a Pacifist Einstein designed the nuclear bomb with the intention that it would prevent war. Einstein was regarded by most people as a humble man who sought to improve the world.
Life surely is an evolutionary process like the Peace Process.
Having health problems complicated by a brain injury, I have spent years adapting to approve both attention and focus. The method that proved very successful was annotating TV programmes that interested me. As I read Mr. William’s article, it struck me that I ought to go to my files and yes I found that I had annotated a programme on Martin McGuinness. Quite evidently, the BBC take the broader view……..particularly when such a programme is researched and would fall within strict legal guidelines.
Brendan Behan was described as the ‘Godfather of Godfathers’. The same description was applied to Martin McGuinness, for Mr. McGuinness, his word is his bond. He does not drink. He is extremely self-contained. He goes to mass regularly. Yes he admits to being in the IRA but he was also effectively involved in the Peace Process.
In the new Stormont (now dissolved), he was Minister for Education. The question that permeates is: Is he still involved in terrorism?
He gets up at 5.30 a.m. every morning and he remains working until late. He was brought up in the Bogside where he still lives. His involvement in the IRA related to the desire for a United Ireland.
He was reared in a two bedroomed house with 4 others. His Father worked in the local foundry and was one of the lucky people in a sectarian Northern Ireland to always have work. The rosary was said each day in the house. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and his experience of education was bad. By the 1960’s the streets of Derry echoed with protests. The emphasis on politics was not strong in his home in any particular way but his mother said, they would be nationalist. He joined the IRA in 1971 – this was the time of Interment and Bloody Sunday. He encouraged many others to join up with him.
Blood Sunday – there was no provocation – just open fire.
McGuinness traveled to Cheyne Walk in South London for discussions with Willie Whitelaw. He was in fact armed.
He married Mairead McGuinness in Donegal (same Church where his parents had married) in 1974. He has two sons and two daughters and one grandchild.
His IRA credential would be admired in the Bogside – he would be seen as Leader of the Community. The aim would be to deal with problems within the community.
The Cook Report – Martin McGuinness claims he would never have spoken to Cook.
One point was that McGuinness’s answers have changed over time. NB: McGuinness language is very much about sentimental feelings.
At the Saville Enquiry in 2001 http://www.bloody-sunday-inquiry.org.uk/ Martin McGuinness admitted being a member of the IRA. The issue was that the British shot first and that the IRA sought Justice and Equality for their people. He did not admit to killing people. He referred to the fact that it was a war and those who joined the IRA were part of that war.
Martin McGuinness was the second in command of the Bogside. The reality was that Sinn Fein http://www.sinnfein.ie/contact-us were always going to be fighting elections. The perception is that Gerry Adams is not as well trusted as Martin McGuinness. However, they are both like blood brothers. Gerry Adams appears pompous, he is a strategist, the architect, the politician. McGuinness is the engineer that is concerned with the implementation. Both were willing to learn from each other.
In 1994 there was a meeting of the leading members of the IRA. This lead to a cessation of violence. Meetings took place in Stormont. There was a new Secretary of State. The new leader of Labour at Westminister was Tony Blair and together with Mo Mowlam, Secretary of State, treatment of the republicans changed in a more progressive way for Republicans – there was that element of humanity in it. McGuinness regarded Mo Mowlam as a very human person and down to earth.
Martin McGuinness is deemed to have a bad temper. However, he perseveres and is focused and holds considerable power over the militants. In the Referendum related to the Good Friday Agreement http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events/good_friday_agreement two positions were granted to Sinn Fein.
The dissolution of the Agreement proved gut wrenching for McGuinness. The decommissioning was insufficient to convince the Unionists that the IRA had given up violence.
McGuinness managed to abolish the 11+ before leaving office of Education. He does admit openly he failed his 11+. He now regards himself as Minister of Education as distinct from being a member of the IRA. The Unionists never shook hands with him.
‘My war is over – it is now to prevent war’
He is concerned with building a better future – politics is the method.
Let’s start thinking; lets review the material for example try http://www.austenmorgan.com
My personal choice of quotation: Bertrand Russell (He promoted passive resistance)
From ‘Man’s Peril book 1954
‘I appeal, as a human being to human beings, remember your humanity and forget the rest’
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