Unlike Martin McGuinness, the swift and non-fortuitous demise of Geordie Gilmore didn’t quite make the international news. Nor like McGuinness, Gilmore retained his Unionist paramilitary trappings and exceptional thuggery.
Having clashed with the views and attitudes of his once comrades in arms and defenders of all things Unionism, eventually, he bitterly and acrimoniously diverged from them on various aspects of Unionism, criminality, especially criminality and apparently and most importantly, on a spat between two women.
Against the odds and against better judgement but following the wisdom and advice of his megalomania, Geordie made a stand similar to that of a famous blond haired general at the Little Bighorn - both suffering similar fates!
McGuinness on the other hand, not only having given up his para-militarism and apologised for all the hurt he and Republicans in general had inflicted, on turning his back on his past, was elevated on to the platform of international statesman of the British peace process. Most likely elevated by the same people who ‘elevated’ one Tony Blair to UN Peace Envoy.
Unlike Geordie's mundane funeral, it is expected that many international Statesmen and Stateswomen will make an appearance to pay their last respects to McGuinness and his family.
With initially, the possible exception being a Mrs A Foster. Foster, in a display of ugly and vulgar disrespect and lacking in compassion, returned to her bigoted old self and expressed her uncouth Unionism in her deliberation of her attendance and was remindful to everyone of McGuinness’ past. A reminder to all Nationalists that unlike McGuinness, this leopard still has not changed its spots.
And once again Geordie, whose popularity was illustrated by the quantity of tributes or more precisely the dire lack off such, failed to gain any ground on McGuinness whose tributes flooded social media and the well-established terrestrial media. Disconcerting to these eulogies of the man, some in the mainstream of the political arena hit back by reminding the world of McGuinness’ past.
And so as the patrons of Sandy Row danced joyously around their celebratory bonfire of McGuinness’ demise, as Jeffrey Donaldson dived for cover in the garden of Westminster, reminding him of the terrorism he experienced in Norn Iron while driving around the Co Down coastline intimidating Nationalists in his UDR land-rover, let us recall a few tributes to McGuinness:
Ian Paisley Jr, continuing down the road to Dublin, sorry, Damascus, offered the parable of The Two Sons in his tribute or eulogy to McGuinness:
“It’s not how you start your life, it’s how you finish your life.”
Thus, in absolving his father and McGuinness of all past wrongs by referring to the once and quite prolific and abominable practice of offering ‘indulgences’ to atone for one’s sinful life, Ian inadvertently calls in to question Luther's Reformation!
Norman Tebbit, not wishing to be miss-understood or leave room for any ambiguity, and still hurting from the Brighton Bomb attack that left his wife severely disabled, described McGuinness’ passing as:
'The world is a sweeter place today. He was a coward who never atoned for his crimes. There can be no forgiveness without a confession of sins. I hope he'll be parked in an unpleasant corner of hell'
Well now, yes, Norman, was never one to mince his words, nor to show compassion for that matter!
“Go away and have another heart attack!”
Tebbit allegedly shouted this at left-wing Labour MP Tom Litterick during a House of Commons debate in the late 1970s, on the day of Litterick's return to the commons after a lengthy absence following a heart attack and extensive heart surgery. Litterick did in fact succumbed to another heart attack shortly afterwards and died.
Jon Snow of Channel 4 News gave the following tribute:
“A great loss; an extraordinary life that culminated in great service.”
Irish News – 22/03/2017 – Brian Feeney:
“It’s a feature of British commentary that there seems to be no recognition that a person engaged in armed resistance against British government, whether in Africa like Jomo Kenyatta or Robert Mugabe or in Cyprus like Archbishop Makarios or Commandant de Valera shooting British troops from Boland’s Mill, can be primarily interested in achieving a political settlement.”
Alex Kane – In the same paper reminisces on his failure to an in-depth interview with McGuinness a year or so before he died. He rhymes of a list of questions he wanted to ask with one of them being:
“I wanted to know what it was about unionism that made him so angry as a young man in the 1960s”?
Perhaps Alex, now I’m just throwing this out there for discussion, but while you and your Unionist mates were off down by the hallow with your brown eyed girl, McGuinness was growing up in a city that exemplified Unionist bigotry, Unionist sectarianism and Unionist racial hatred besides down right Unionist discrimination and Unionist gerrymandering! A city where poverty was inherited in every Nationalist district.
The Usual Suspects were rolled out to condemn him - Anne Travers leading the charge but taking the Claudy bombings, Enniskillen, Hegarty, Gillespie and Maher families with her in her condemnation. Maria Cahill also reminded everyone that at one time he had let her down, and Ruth Dudley Edwards agreed with Foster and her stance by reminding us all of McGuinness’ victims....yawn!
But of all the tributes, eulogies and denunciations and condemnations I would suggest that Robert Fisk best summed up the demise of Martin McGuinness in the Independent, 22/03/2017, where on concluding his article on McGuinness he finished with:
McGuinness, of course, maintained his statesmanship to the end, seeing off the grousing old Paisley, watching Peter Robinson slip in the Unionist mire and then observing the Democratic Unionists swamped in financial scandal. A good time to go, you might say, and join all the other “most wanted men” in the sky. But one of them, we would do well to remember, had a wanted poster all his own more than 100 years ago, way back in the Boar War: his name was Winston Churchill. And much to talk about they’ll have, I’m sure.