Given my weakened condition (see below) I will not attempt to write anything original, instead I will rely on quoting Ms. Jenny McCartney in this week's Spectator:
[A]ccording to Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnston’s book Martin McGuinness: From Guns To Government, ‘McGuinness personally supervised the Derry IRA’s first major success of 1987.’ That ‘success’ was for two IRA men first to murder a psychology student called Leslie Jarvis, who taught leatherwork to inmates in Magilligan prison and was therefore deemed a ‘legitimate target’. The killers then used the dead man as bait, switching his briefcase with one containing a bomb. When two policemen arrived on the scene and examined the case, they were both blown to smithereens. An IRA volunteer interviewed by the authors explained that ‘McGuinness was in the house opposite watching everything. He quite often liked to be close when things went off to watch and see… it was part of his strategy, his way of refining operations.’
Paraphrasing Matthew 7.16, 'By their deeds shall you know them' and that little episode tells you everything you need to know about McGuiness. Or try this one with my emphasis added:
Consider his 2001 statement to the BBC about the 1987 IRA bomb that killed 11 people and injured 63 others during a Remembrance Day service in Enniskillen: ‘It was a total and absolute disaster. I felt absolutely gutted by it. I felt this would be damaging to our strategy in trying to build Sinn Fein as a political party.’ The gutting, it was clear, was because of the damage to Sinn Fein’s electoral prospects rather than the bodies strewn around the cenotaph.
Still not sure? Then how about this:
In 2013, at a debate at the Oxford Union, McGuinness refused to condemn the 1990 IRA murder of Patsy Gillespie, a Catholic canteen worker and father of three who was strapped into a lorry loaded with IRA explosives and forced to drive it to a British Army checkpoint. There it was detonated remotely, killing Gillespie and five British soldiers.
Or perhaps we could paraphrase Matthew's words even more - 'By their friends and supporters shall you know them':
Already, the mythologising is in full swing — Alastair Campbell: ‘the man I knew was a great guy’; Jon Snow: ‘an extraordinary life that culminated in great service’; Jeremy Corbyn: ‘a great family man’.
With friends like them who needs enemies?!