Martin McGuinness and the hypocrisy of Establishment Ireland

Earlier today I had the misfortune of switching on Marian Finucane’s radio programme on RTE, while driving to visit my mother. The first thing I noticed was that the rebirth of Bertie Ahern continues apace in Donnybrook, with Marian acting as midwife. To be fair to Marian, she has recovered well after some tough times. In 2008 she was earning €570,000, as RTE  outbid all the other media outlets in Ireland to secure her services. Now she is on a mere €295,000 per annum.

Rte salaries

But I digress – back to the programme itself. The conversation was symbolic of the media and ‘experts’ in the twenty six counties over the last week, since Martin McGuinness’s passing. Biased, blinkered and so far out of touch within its own little establishment cocoon that you would nearly feel a sense of sorrow. Over the last week, RTE including Marian Finucane’s programme, the INM media brigade (oops, sorry lads), other newspapers, current and former politicians, current and former journalists and whoever else was versed in the correct mantra were all wheeled out to besmirch Martin McGuinness’s good name.

That old line that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter was never so relevant as this week. The lack of context when discussing Martin McGuinness’s life was obvious, so much so that I suspect it must have been deliberate. The hypocrisy, though, was just breathtaking. If only  time machines had been invented I would ensure that every member of Establishment Ireland was sent back to nationalist areas of Derry or Belfast in 1950’s and 60’s and abandoned there for a few years, before being returned. Although it would be tempting to just leave them there.

Enda Kenny and Michael Collins

That hypocrisy  could not be illustrated any clearer than Enda Kenny standing before a picture of Michael Collins, while evaluating Martin McGuinness’s life and his conversion from ‘terrorism’. Personally, I have never seen Michael Collins as a terrorist, I have always seen him as a freedom fighter. Collins was the man who, on the morning of Bloody Sunday 1920, planned and organised the killing of the Cairo Gang, 14 undercover British intelligence agents and members of the British military in Ireland. Collins’ actions were those of a man at war, a freedom fighter at work, a military man. The irony is that had Collins committed his actions in the north in the 1970’s he would now be labelled a terrorist. There would no painting of Collins to be found hanging in a Fine Gael Taoiseach’s office. The man’s name would be wiped from Fine Gael’s past by now.


Last year, we had the embarrassing spectacle of Establishment Ireland tiptoeing around the centenary of the 1916 Rising, in case they were seen to legitimise ‘terrorism’. Lest we forget, the men and women of 1916 were deemed to be the terrorists of their day. Our newspapers denounced the Rising and the Independent called for the execution of its leaders. (A hatred of republicans maintained to this day). It is noteworthy that by the 50th anniversary of the Rising in 1966, the rebels who had been denounced in 1916, were venerated as martyrs. Of course, after the eruption of war in the six counties, any mention of 1916 was quietly swept away under the carpet of self-censorship by government after government here. That’s the way it worked, the paradox of it all was too much for Establishment Ireland to handle, so best say nothing.

Ballyseedy Massacre

And let’s not forget the Civil War. Can you just imagine the forthcoming awkwardness of commemorating that? Ballyseedy – where nine republicans were taken to Ballyseedy, tied to a landmine and blown up. Luckily one, Stephen Fuller, survived to tell us the story; Countess Bridge in Killarney – where five republican prisoners were blown up in a similar manner as indeed happened to four others in Caherciveen. Then there were the brutal executions of Rory O’Connor, Dick Barrett, Liam Mellows and Joe McKelveey in December 1922. Freedom fighting, terrorism or acts of war? History is always written by the victor.

John Hume Gerry Adams

The problem with much of the ignorant pontifications concerning Martin McGuinness this past week is that they came from the same bases and sources. The journalists, the opinion piece writers, the ‘expert’ analysts, the historians, the politicians and the retired politicians have been generally anti-republican by default. It is a necessary requirement of joining the cult that is Team Mainstream Media, the ‘experts’ and ‘opinion makers’ in the twenty six counties. When it comes to the north, that simplistic attitude can be summarised as John Hume and the SDLP: good, Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin: bad. And yet even that underlying simplistic opinion is steeped in hypocrisy. When John Hume began talks with Gerry Adams, he was castigated from a height in the south. He was portrayed as a demon and abused in media comment after media comment. God help us all when John eventually shuffles off this mortal coil. The hypocrisy will jump at you from every media outlet in sight.

And that hypocrisy has continued through the decades. Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are political parties steeped in a bloody past. A past they continue to celebrate and commemorate. Nobody decommissioned their arms. They moved smoothly from weaponry to government without a care in the world. Nobody asked questions about their past, particularly concerning the bloody Civil War. And not to forget the Labour party who constantly celebrate their connections with James Connolly. Even more recently Proinsias De Rossa, TD, MEP and President of the Labour party was imprisoned in Mountjoy Prison for seven months and later interned in the Curragh Camp after being arrested at an IRA training camp in the fifties. You will remember the media asking Proinsias about this at every opportunity throughout his political career. Well, no, of course you won’t. It was never raised. Hypocrisy once again.

Martin McGuinness


Let there be no doubt the hypocrisy of Establishment Ireland will continue. The same people who will continue to besmirch Martin McGuinness’s name, would not have been fit to wipe his boots. As Gerry Adams so eloquently put it: “Martin didn’t go to war, war came to him”.

Martin McGuinness stood up for the people, fought for the people and went into politics for the people.

His life is now forever etched into Ireland’s history. He will be remembered with fondness and love, with appreciation and thanks – long after the naysayers, the begrudgers, the bitterati and the revisionists are forgotten.

Maith thú, a Mháirtín.


Enda Fanning
March 2017









14 thoughts on “Martin McGuinness and the hypocrisy of Establishment Ireland

  1. Excellent article Enda which has been put out on a Celtic website.ETIMS.Check it out Enda,it’s always interesting to say the least.HH


  2. Our politicians and church always have negative views on anything that upsets them. Marian should be retired now. For ive noticed she has a bad cough and costing us too much. Martin mc guinness had the courage to fight for our country and must be respected for agreeing to go through a lot for peace. That really explains it.


  3. I see Ed Baloney has chipped in with an article in the far right Unionist rag “the news letter” with aload of shite about McGuinness that he never would have utterred when Martin was alive.


  4. You might not have agreed with Martin Mc Guinness in everything he did but what he did do he did it with 100%. He never left any stone unturned and never backed down no matter how difficult any situation was. And as for the establishment labelling him a terrorist you look at the people who lived through the troubles in the north and ask them you will get a different answer. Sinn Fein scare the shit out of FF/FG and they should be scared because Sinn Fein are on a roll now and they ain’t stopping at no border.


  5. McGuiness sought equal rights and equal opportunity for all the people off Ireland.
    That is something detested by the Dublin Establishment as much as the northern Unionists.


  6. Easy to write holier than thou nonsense over a chai latte in D4. Had the ignoramuses even set foot in Derry for half a day in Derry in 60s and 70s they might be somewhat wiser. Thanks for writing this Enda. I hope to see a day soon that we can finally say goodbye to 100 years of FF/FG failure and give the Irish people the kind of state and society that they deserve. I hope Liam above is right and we get SF in power at last


  7. I couldn’t agree more!! A beautiful piece of writing and right on point!! Thank you for expressing, so elequently, what so many of us think.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s