It’s never too late for justice

Dave Woodhall calls on Martin McGuinness to do the right thing.



Martin McGuiness has a controversial background. He was a member of the IRA during the troubles in Northern Ireland, served a term of imprisonment for possession of explosives and it was claimed that he took an active part in the events of Bloody Sunday, when 13 civilians were killed by British paratroopers in 1970. He always denied any wrongdoing that day and claimed to have left the organisation in 1974, although several respected authors and senior politicans have said that both he and his colleague Gerry Adams were members of the IRA Army Council until much later. Neither man has ever sued over these allegations.

Both then took a more peaceful road, negotiating with the British and Irish governments to help broker a ceasefire and the painful negotiations that have led to some form of peace in Northern Ireland. Ever the consummate politicians, they are now regarded as wise elder statesmen of the peace process, moderates on the side of the angels. Adams is a member of the Irish Parliament while McGuinness is Deputy First Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday finally published its report in 2010, 38 years after the incident. It exonerated McGuiness, saying that nothing he did on that day should have led to the army opening fire. He would doubtless have been relieved with such a finding, no matter how long it took him to get his justice.

It’s now over 38 years since the Birmingham pub  bombings. They were in the news again last week after McGuiness spoke at the Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace in Warrington. He once more offered sympathy to the families of the victims, but he could have do much more. By naming those responsible, he could have shown that he finally has renounced his links to the past. He could show that he has more sympathy for justice and the victims of terrorism than its perpetrators.

It is inconceivable that Martin McGuinness, former IRA member, alleged member of their Army Council, doesn’t know who planted the bombs or couldn’t find out in the time it takes to read this page. He fought for an enquiry into Bloody Sunday long enough. That wasn’t too long ago; it wasn’t too difficult or too expensive. It wasn’t part of a past best forgotten. If Martin McGuiness wants to be regarded as an even-handed leader who seeks lasting peace and justice for all, he could start by extending the same assistance to the victims’ families that he was given by the British state he fought against for so long.

2 thoughts on “It’s never too late for justice

  1. It’s a shame that English papers don’t publish what precipitated the renewed IRA campaign in Ireland: their governments’ woeful deriliction of duty to protect all citizens under its governance, by allowing loyalism and Protestantism to rule our part of Ireland, and to ignore our rights under UK law to housing, jobs, and a life free from state persecution!

    It took an IRA campaign to ensure that all the people in this part of Ireland be treated equal, and to finally break the penal codes set out centuries before.

    The IRA planted bombs in response to British violence in Ireland. British violence precipitated the actions of the IRA, and as a consequence, we had renewed conflict in Ireland!

    The British government has its own dirty little secrets locked away. Unfortunately we never hear or read of English editors requesting the truth about British government terrorism in Ireland!

  2. Some rewritting of history there Seamus, the penal laws where abolished long before the IRA where formed.
    You are one sick person who is trying to validate the callous acts carried out under the cover of night by PIRA coward terrorists.
    Maybe you can tell all the readers here of the brave exploits of the scum who carried out the actions at Darkly, Kingsmills, Shankill, Enniskillen, Birmingham to name a few, or maybe you tell the readers about the galent members of the PIRA who disappeared 15 individuals who where murdered in cold blood and secretly buried, but sure the Brits made them do it, do one you bampot.

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