Martin McGuinness on Late Late Show

Martin McGuinness was on RTE’s Late Late show on Friday (about 35 minutes in). It was a pretty benign interview: he denounced the behaviour of some of the Christian Brothers in his school describing some CB’s behaviour as making it like a “Concentration Camp.” (it is unclear how he describes kidnapping, torturing and murdering people). He then went on to explain his decision to join the IRA as due to the brutality of the RUC: all pretty usual stuff with lots about murders by the British. He described the Birmingham pub bombings as shocking and horrible but unsurprisingly did not condemn them.

He did manage to say that Enniskillen was wrong but then rewrote history by claiming that the IRA had apologised for it: odd considering that the IRA accused the British Army of setting off the bomb by mistake until it was proved that a timing device had been used. He also claimed that he dedicated his life to ending the conflict and uniting Ireland only by peaceful means which is a truly stunning piece of revisionism.

The only time McGuinness had any trouble was when he was asked whether Gerry Adams was in the IRA and he seemed unable to say one way or another, though he did not say that he did not know.

Despite claiming not to be bitter he said that he was not enamoured of a visit from the Queen and that he had not heard her or her sons apologise for Bloody Sunday. Predictably McGuinnes’s comments have raised unionist hackles: Gregory Campbell and Danny Kennedy’s comments are in the News Letter;
Campbell said:

“This comment means that a person who has openly admitted to being involved in an organisation whose specific purpose was to murder and maim, namely the Provisional IRA, but who has never publicly apologised for his involvement in that failed campaign, has asked for an apology from the Queen.”

“the hypocrisy of this statement has clearly been lost on Martin McGuinness…Hopefully this hypocrisy will do nothing to mar the first visit of the Queen to that country, particularly when Mary McAleese, the president of the Irish Republic, has been asked to make no similar such apology for the part her country’s government played in the creation of the IRA, despite her numerous visits to this country.”

Danny Kennedy said he found the comments to be

“deeply offensive and insulting given that the organisation in which Martin McGuinness was an activist and leading member, the IRA, murdered Lord Louis Mountbatten, HM Queen’s uncle, and countless members of HM Queen’s security forces and citizens”… Once again the mask or balaclava of the deputy first minister slips to reveal his true feelings of bitterness and hatred of all things British….It is clear that the sneering and hostile attitude of Martin McGuinness to the Royal family, and HM Queen in particular, continues to act as a serious barrier to genuine reconciliation, not only within the NI executive or assembly, but throughout the entire community.”

  • Imperano

    hmmm… a lovely bit of impartial commentary! Where am I???… oh yeah, of course!

  • dennis the menace

    mcGuinness is a murderer, why should anyone be nice about him?

  • Mark

    Maybe RTE can have an Army Council Easter Special …

  • Banjaxed

    Is this a Slugger pincer movement, I wonder – Turgon disses Marty and Pete Baker disses Gerry?

  • tacapall

    A little bit of playing to the gallery here by Martin McGuinness who’s former comrade Danny Morrison accidently on purpose bumped into Prince Charles at the Glastonbury festival after the British prime minister David Cameron apoligised to the Irish people over the murder of Irish civilians by Prince Charles regiment. In a radio interview for BBC NI’s Good Morning Ulster, Mr Morrison added: “I had no problem with him. There is a line drawn through the past.”
    After centuries of murder and oppression by the British on the Island of Ireland its all sumed up in those words. Those who choose to constantly regurgitate the past have nothing else in their lives but the desire for confrontation.

  • George

    I heard Peter Robinson paying his condolences to Michaela McAreavey today and I was touched by his genuine warmth and empathy.

    There have been days past when the man has appalled me with his views and maybe there will be more days in the future when he appalls me but I somehow feel they will still be lower in my field of emotions than the place I hold for him today.

    Maybe there will be a moment in your life Turgon when you feel a genuine warmth for someone like McGuinness rather than looking at every word he says for further proof of the views you currently hold.

  • Mark

    Nodding in agreement .

  • Mark

    to George obviously .

  • The Word

    “The only time McGuinness had any trouble was when he was asked whether Gerry Adams was in the IRA and he seemed unable to say one way or another, though he did not say that he did not know. ”

    The only comment that can be made in relation to this comment is that there is a question as to whether Martin McGuinness was ever in the IRA if being in the IRA means standing on your own two feet and not taking instructions from “others”.

    Was he a soldier like Adams, both referred to by the British military in a curious way, as would be “middle ranking” officers in the British army sense?

    Who were the higher ranking officers the British may have been aware of?

    Ryan Tubridy’s aired the natural warmth of the Irish people and Martin’s overstated warmth struggled to keep up. But Tubridy’s telling remark was in relation to Martin leaving school at fifteen. A whole lot of Irish people won’t be impressed by that in reality when John Hume came from a similar background and proved more able at school. That was a dagger blow in reality.

    A boy like Martin might find himself taking orders pretty quickly. Just like Adams. But who from? And why did they refuse to listen to their educated peers?

    A fool would have seen that a campaign would never succeed. Martin laments the deaths of all those boys and men alike yet never accepts any blame for escalating matters. A typical egoic position.

    I don’t want to be too hard on Martin but he did give me a dirty look at a recent event. I didn’t like that.

  • tacapall

    The Word are you really a priest or Conall McDevitt, there seems to be an innate hatred of members of Sinn Fein in your posts, hardly christian at all. This latest rant about Adams and McGuinness has a definate agenda. People like you – If you are a priest, would be better staying out of politics and apologising to the Irish people and those hundreds of thousands around the world who were abused by your fellow clergy members, once again I ask you. How long does it take for ones past to be forgotten.

  • The Word


    I have many roles.

    Where’s the hatred? I serve the truth.

    “How long does it take for ones past to be forgotten.”

    It can only be forgotten after it is known.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Yawwwwwnnnnnn. I don’t know what anyone’s getting animated about here; MMcG did not say anything that would have been unexpected in the interview and neither have his unionist counterparts since. Dreary stuff, all of it.

  • andnowwhat

    Macrionite, get some therapy ad learn some respect while you are at it.

    I cannot believe that Slugger allowed that trash on today of all days

  • Kevin Barry

    I used to come on this website quite often as it seemed to be informative and interesting, now it’s just full of people/contributors rehashing what we already know about politicians in NI and their own fairly entrenched political beliefs.

    Pretty sad stuff IMO

  • andnowwhat

    What the hell was Gregory Campbell doing watching RTE for anyway?

  • Mark

    Marcionite ,

    That’s what politicians do , you should know that – a seasoned observer like yourself .

    Your Bazil Fawlty routine cuts no ice here . All you want to do is to upset people . Why don’t you take your anger somewhere else .

    [edited – moderator]

  • tacapall

    The Word nice philosophy its a pity people like yourself and your fellow clergymen dont follow it. If Sinn Fein and its members have to be whipped forever for their sins then so should you.

  • Driftwood

    [edited – moderator]

    Joanne Mathers was 2 years younger than Micheala McAreavy when she was murdered, I wonder if the DFM thought of her today? Probably not.

  • Mark

    Getting back to how media savvy Republicans have become …

  • andnowwhat

    Mark, read Macronite’s post again.

    I think the subtext is more personal (in realation to what Michaela was) than that.

    That’s why I questioned why it is still up.

  • Mark

    I can’t find my copy of Lost Lives anywhere .

  • Mark

    andnowwhat ,

    Did you read his first post . I got the first 2 lines before it was wiped off .

  • andnowwhat

    Just caught it Mark.

    How the hell did that get pulled while his vile, clearly sectarian nonsense got to stay up?

    Is Macronite too young to remember the years Robinson was on TV and in the papers condemning republican (and other) attacks?

  • Mark

    He can’t see past the who ?

    Today was just a sad day … it didn’t matter who it was , it was just sad .

    If he can’t see that , I feel sorry for him .

  • tacapall

    This is a TUV thread what do you expect !

  • The Word


    Why do you fear the truth so much?

    Shouldn’t the truth set you free? So why the desire to inflict pain on others?

  • Mark

    With regard to McGuinness , he was very polished – as usual . Thats was drives the unionist boys so mad , McGuinness always comes out smelling of roses whereas Campbell couldn’t say something nice to save his life . The minute his opens his mouth ……. THAT country !!

  • tacapall

    The reaction from Unionists was predictable, but after the British governments introduction of the new Inquiries Act I guess a new line was drawn in the sand.

  • John Ó Néill

    I think you’re kidding yourselves if you imagine there was anything you hadn’t heard before in that interview (or in the comments from Campbell or Kennedy which could have been cut-and-paste from anything over the last ten years). All the Late Late demonstrated was that, wherever his abilities lie in light entertainment, Ryan Tubridy hasn’t the skillset to do serious political interviews.

  • Mark

    I don’t think McGuinness was the Late Late to do a serious political interview .

  • The Word

    “Ryan Tubridy hasn’t the skillset to do serious political interviews.”

    He knifed Martin several times. He did okay.

  • Driftwood

    The point is hypocrisy.
    Martin Mcguinness appeared at a funeral today of someone he did not know, dispensing platitudes.
    He did know Joanne Mathers. She was an enemy (Prod) doing her ‘British’ job. Therefore suitable for murder.
    Then home for tea and scones.
    Funny old business, terrorism and politics.

  • Munsterview

    The Word 17 January 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Jesus wept!

  • tacapall

    Now you’ve got your civilian clothes on now Word distancing yourself and the institution you’re married to.

  • andnowwhat

    Munsterview, I think The Word gets Martin and Gerry mixed up.He seems to in that post anyway.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have many roles.

    One for each personality in your head.

    Where’s the hatred? I serve the truth.

    You sound like a creepy recruiter for the Church of Scientology.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Jesus wept!

    Yes, he did. That was just before he created John Hume.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m getting a distinct flavour of that guy John McConnell or whatever his name was. The bloke from Derry who loved John Hume and the SDLP and who thinks he is the messiah.

  • pippakin


    I know who you mean but he was not a fervent Catholic. I still have a copy of his ‘Number of the Beast Calculated’.

    This thread has descended into realms I would rather not explore,there is whataboutery, often directed by SF or Unionist supporters out to change an awkward subject, there is genuine meandering and then there is this.

  • Hedley Lamarr

    The IRA expressed “deep regret” in a statement the day after the bomb at Enniskillen’s cenotaph. A narrative I have read many times is that they left the bomb to explode when the police and army were searching the area. They then didn’t warn people that the bomb was there and it exploded during the remembrance service.

    The next day they expressed “deep regret” which obviously wasn’t the same as an apology to many. Gordon Wilson’s words of forgiveness contrasted immensely with the callous disregard of the bombers.

    They also said that the security force scanners triggered the bomb hiding the fact that they left it undetected and ticking.

  • granni trixie

    I want to understand the “rules”. Why has the Word a red card? I was not offended by anything he wrote above (though maybe on other occasions). Plus as I know nothing about sport, do did know if red is worse than say a yellow card.

  • madraj55

    andnowwhat….. ‘what the hell was gregory Campbell doing watching RTE…. I expect he was watching it through gritted teeth. He must have wrestled with what’s left of his conscience for about 30 seconds first. Never passes up an opportunity for a whinge.

  • andnowwhat

    Hi Maj.

    I bet Gregory doesn’t feel as dirty as I do when I end up watching Sky “News”.

    I wonder if Gregg turns on RTE at 5.59 just to get offended at the Angelus?

  • madraj55

    Happy New year, kal. As for Greg, the psych in Fawlty towers said it all, ‘There’s enough material there for an entire conference’

  • andnowwhat

    Cheers Maj. Same to yourself.

    Dear me Maj, If Gregg, Mc Causland, Aliister et al ever got theirt heads sorted we’d have no entertainment here at all.

    Back on the main article, a supporter of a party who has no issue with Torrence Knight roming our streets giving off about the DFM’s past is pretty rich.

  • madraj55

    I was actually up in belfast on a rare visit yesterday, Kal. and was in the Crown for a while. Have a sister lives in Jordanstown. TUV?, Total self awareness deficit, that lot.
    Robbo seems to have decided to try for his seat back in EB. judging from his new touchyfeely persona. Give me strength.

  • andnowwhat

    Ah Maj, could have bought you a drink yesterday (or visa versa *cough*).

    Well Maj, given the way the UUP and Tom Elliot in particular, is behaving,Robbo could (if he gets his seat back) retain the FM post. It’s not like He lost byt a large margin in May (unlioke David Vance that is)

  • madraj55

    Well, I expect we’ll get another chance for that. I’m due up there on the 15th of Feb. I have to wonder if Elliot has a death wish, [for the party, I mean] . I’m not that bothered if the FM seat goes to SF or not. They have the power where it matters. up there anyway.

  • Los Leandros

    I am always wary when any organisation ( secular or religious ) is given an easy ride by RTE. It generally means that they have prostituted themselves to a D.4 agenda, & RTE will give them a nice pat on the back for conforming to the mob consensus. Despite Sinn Fein’s historic ” Stickie ” animosity, they have now essentially joined the club. As a Catholic, I am proud that the only organisation which is consistently misrepresented/gratuitously offended by RTE, is the ” One, True, Church “. The previous week, Tubridy indulged in a totally sychophantic love-in with the vile Neil Jordan – a repulsive anti-Catholic bigot. I rest my case !.