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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: February, 2017
By: Editorial

Shadow Of A Gunman

Shadow Of A Gunman
Martin McGuinness is the IRA man that it is difficult for even the most blinkered Constitutionalist to hate.
They all hate Gerry Adams, who denies having been a member of the Army. They hate him because they cannot pin Army membership on him, and because he has not confined himself to Northern politics but has built Sinn Fein into a substantial political force in the Republic.
If Adams retired, there would be rejoicing in Leinster House, but there is almost sadness that McGuinness is retiring.

A very effective division of political labour has been operated between the two of them. It is extraordinarily difficult for a political party to operate effectively in two states. Sinn Fein has managed it under their leadership.

Insofar as a dimension of Irish unity has actual existence, it is in the existence of the Sinn Fein Party as an all-Ireland party.

The 1998 Agreement might be called the Hume/Adams/Haughey Agreement. The 'Constitutional' hope at the time was that Republicanism would fade away as the SDLP operated the Agreement along with David Trimble's Unionist Party. But Hume, who had been under siege within his party because of his collaboration with Sinn Fein, retired. And Trimble, who had been coerced by Whitehall into going along with the Agreement, wouldn't play. Seamus Mallon, who seemed to live in a doctrinaire dictionary-Republicanism of his own imagining, floundered. (He probably hated sharing power with Sinn Fein as much as the Unionists did.) And the actual Republicanism that had fought the War that brought about the Agreement flourished instead of withering—and became an all-Ireland party in earnest.

The SDLP failed to make a working arrangement with Trimble under the Agreement. McGuinness made a working arrangement with Ian Paisley. This was disconcerting to the Unionist community which eighty years of political isolation from its beloved Britain had made unused to practical politics. When Paisley was pushed aside by fundamentalist Unionist resentment, McGuinness managed to preserve the working arrangement with his successors. He made many de facto concessions to Unionist sentiment along the way—so much so that Arlene Foster thought she had him in the bag and overreached herself.

Many years ago Fr. Faul, who had the reputation of being a Republican priest, told us that the Provos bewildered him. He had taken the game of hurling to express the Irish spirit. It was fast and furious and quickly ended, but the Provos seemed to have the mentality of cricketers.
Another way of putting it would be that they showed the spirit of De Valera rather than Collins. They could apply themselves purposefully in war over a long period, with tactical flexibility, without losing sight of the purpose of it all. And then they could apply themselves in the same manner in the peace that was brought about by war.
And they ensured that, in the transition from war to peace, the Collins episode that many hoped for did not happen. There was no civil war this time around.

Shadow Of A Gunman. Editorial
T. K. Whitaker. Jack Lane
Trump, Trump, Trump. Editorial
Readers' Letters: Casement: Missing The Point. Paul Hyde. United Kingdom—Constitutional Change. Ivor Kenna
Len Green. Pat Muldowney (Obituary)
History Not Politics! Dave Alvey on Maurice Manning
The February/March Revolution. Editorial
Sinn Fein's London Meeting. Wilson John Haire
Sinn Fein Irish Unity Conference. Dave Alvey
The Limits of History. Barry Keane (Tribunal Hearing Report)
Casement not a homosexual!. Jack Lane
Transcendental Politics? Brendan Clifford (Part One)
Centenary Of The February 1917 National Democratic Revolution. Manus O'Riordan
Winding Up The Clock. John Morgan (Lt. Col., retd.)
Hubert Butler: The DVD. Julianne Herlihy (Part 5)
That 1841 Census Again. Jack Lane
Apprenticeship Reform in Northern Ireland. Dave Alvey
L'Angleterre d'Aujourd'hui. Pat Walsh
Getting Casement backwards. Tim O’Sullivan (Part One)
Biteback: Irish Times Reporting Of Sex Abuse in Church Of Ireland. Dr. Niall Meehan (Unpublished Irish Times Letter)
Does It Stack Up? Michael Stack (Commemoration of the Battle of Kilmichael)
Eugene V. Debs On 1916. Labour Comment
CETA vote in European Parliament ENVI Committee. Ming Campbell