Jim Fitzpatrick charts the journey of Martin McGuinness from man of war to man of peace, and examines the future of Sinn Fein without him.
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It's just five days since Martin McGuinness's funeral provided
this moment of accord.
But the coming together did not last.
That handshake represented a reaching out, but the inclusivity
that that represents was not then carried forward into the talks.
The DUP didn't approach it with the right attitude.
They weren't prepared to bring
forward mechanisms and deal with the issues.
The talks have collapsed. There is no government.
Stormont once again is in crisis.
It is extremely disappointing that an Executive
has not been formed in Northern Ireland today.
As the Prime Minister triggers Brexit, the union is on her mind.
When this great union of nations, England, Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland, sets its mind on something and works together
with determination, we are an unstoppable force.
But have nationalists' electoral gains put the union on the line?
It also clearly was a vote for Irish unity.
While one key constant of the devolved era is gone.
..was I physically able or capable of fighting an intensive
five, six-week election in the current state that I'm in?
And the answer to that was no.
Even though it...
breaks my heart.
It's more than 20 years since Martin McGuinness led his Sinn Fein
team into this building for the first official talks with the
From that point he was focused on rebuilding political institutions.
Over the last decade he was key to sustaining government at Stormont.
He built it up, but he also tore it down.
So what's next now that he's gone?
It wasn't a state funeral but it looked a bit like one.
Right down to the flag-covered coffin allowed into the church.
A special exception made for Martin McGuinness.
Vast crowds of people came from the Bogside and far beyond.
Political leaders of all shades. Prime ministers past and present.
Presidents. And of course Bill Clinton stole the show.
They asked me to speak for three minutes.
He could do this in 30 seconds. I can just hear him now.
"Here's my eulogy. I fought, I made peace, I made politics."
He earned the right to ask us
to honour his legacy by our living.
To finish the work that is there to be done.
But what is that legacy?
Martin McGuinness was not a terrorist.
Martin McGuinness was a freedom fighter.
There was no greater way to insult my community,
to devalue them and to debase them,
by saying that a man was a freedom fighter who'd done
all that Martin McGuinness had done in his early years.
The paradox of Martin McGuinness the peacemaker is that his career
began in violence.
He first emerged in the early 1970s as a spokesperson for what was
a new, violent organisation.
None of our intelligence units from the Waterside...
The Provisional IRA.
A group that rapidly left its mark on Derry.
And a group that also in this city came under the control of
Now, as the officer commanding the Derry part of the IRA
Provisional operation, can you say whether the bombing is likely
to stop in the near future in response to any public demand?
Well, er, we will always take into considerations the feelings
of the people of Derry and these feelings will be passed on to
our GHQ in Dublin, you know.
Even at the age of 21,
Martin McGuinness already stood out as a charismatic leader.
He had a kind of angelic-looking face, innocent-looking face,
and yet could speak with this Derry accent and, er...
that was a mixture of doggedness and determination.
Denis Bradley was a young priest in Londonderry at the time
McGuinness's IRA was taking over.
By the time internment happened in 1971,
the argument against violence was being lost.
Young people who had never previously taken part in riot situations
because they were dubious about the morality of the whole thing
immediately took part in it.
All moderate argument has gone out the window.
Bloody Sunday killed any hope of moderation returning.
McGuinness was found to have been almost certainly carrying
a gun that day but played no direct role in the events that led
to the Parachute Regiment killing 13 people.
In the aftermath, in Republican eyes,
his IRA unit was cast as defenders of Catholics in the city.
In the Bogside and across other parts of this city,
Martin McGuinness was an established Republican hero and recognised IRA
leader while he was still younger than many university students.
A reputation like that couldn't be contained.
He was the incarnation of all that was evil.
He was the bogeyman of unionism.
He was there to be the leader of the organisation that was trying
to drive the Brits out of Ulster, and of course,
with being a British citizen living in Northern Ireland and as
this being British territory, that was a threat to our very
existence, and he was the personification of that threat.
But as far back as 1972 the Brits wanted to talk to
this 22-year-old bogeyman.
His rise really began after internment and Bloody Sunday,
and he became such a senior figure in Derry that he was recognised
as an important strategist as well as everything else.
He was brought over to London for talks with the British government
about a ceasefire in the summer of 1972,
along with Gerry Adams and the chief of staff, Sean Mac Stiofain,
and a couple of others.
Those talks took place in the summer of 1972,
during the worst period of the Troubles.
Young Martin McGuinness went from the wreckage of Derry to
a posh house in Chelsea to meet a member of the British government,
Secretary of State Willie Whitelaw.
Absolute crazy stuff.
Crazy stuff that you thought that you could pull
a youngster like Martin McGuinness and put him on
a plane and put him over into Cheyne Walk, into the grandees.
And the British hardly even knew where Derry was,
never mind, you know... "Oh, Martin McGuinness, well, who..."
You know, we'll bring these guys over and we'll have
a wee chat with them in a nice plush house along the banks of the Thames?
Crazy stuff. But it was part of the time. It was where we were at.
I think Martin McGuinness learned the value of more subtle
negotiation, because those 1972 talks
were simply outright brinkmanship demands,
naive demands from the IRA leadership,
simply wanting a united Ireland or bust, and wanting it very quickly.
The IRA had three uncompromising demands -
British withdrawal by 1975 and the release of prisoners.
The Provisional IRA will not stop the fight until the three
demands that we have put to Mr Whitelaw are met.
But the man who would one day become Sinn Fein's chief negotiator
had much to learn.
They were so politically naive that they had an idea that
a man was going to walk in some day with
a letter from the Prime Minister of Britain saying, "I'm going to
"withdraw my troops and my people and my power out of Ireland."
Not surprisingly, the British didn't meet the demands.
The talking didn't last long.
McGuinness went back to what he knew in the IRA.
Now a known senior IRA figure, he spent a lot of time on the run.
-McGuinness, still disguised with dyed hair and
a recently grown moustache,
were driven off to the Mountjoy Prison to shouts of
"Up the Provos" from their supporters.
The running was interrupted in 1973 when he was arrested
in the Republic with ammunition and explosives and sent to jail.
There were 30 policemen in the little courtroom
during the brief hearing.
McGuinness refused to accept the jurisdiction of the court.
He said, "My loyalties lie with the 32-county state.
"That's a united Ireland state."
And he added, "This is a framed-up charge."
Martin McGuinness later claimed this was the period when he left the IRA.
Few people believed him.
I don't think he ever left the IRA.
The IRA still exists.
And he certainly didn't leave it in 1974.
After 1974, he really... It's arguable that his IRA career
was only getting off the ground.
He was a commander in the Provisional IRA, said so,
boasted about it.
The fact that he was the commander of the Provisionals,
he said number two in command, it was always our belief,
it was always our position that he was in the Army Council
and the leading member in the Army Council of Provos,
so death was his business, murder was his game.
The key event in the Republican movement
was the creation of Northern Command in 1976.
McGuinness became the first commander of Northern Command,
and that meant, essentially,
that McGuinness and Adams took over the military campaign.
So the northerners were running it.
Under this strengthened northern leadership,
the long war had begun.
And it was ruthless in its prosecution.
The new leadership set down a blueprint
that was followed for the next two decades -
a grinding campaign of isolated attacks,
punctuated by what Republicans called "spectaculars",
such as when the IRA took revenge on the Parachute Regiment
for Bloody Sunday and reached inside the Royal Family in a single day.
-At 11.30 this morning,
Lord Mountbatten's family had set off from the jetty.
16 minutes later, it happened.
We just heard a very loud bang
and we were informed that Lord Mountbatten's boat had exploded.
That was planned by the IRA shortly after Martin McGuinness took over
as chief of staff of the IRA in 1978. He had sanctioned it.
The IRA also struck at Warrenpoint,
killing 18 members of the Parachute Regiment.
Police who have been to the scene
say they have never seen such carnage
in all the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
This would have been a very complex plan,
for two operations to take place on the same day.
The key thing was the Parachute Regiment,
because of what they had done in Derry in 1972.
The graffiti went up immediately,
that night - "13 dead but not forgotten.
"We got 18 and Mountbatten."
The devastating double attack was a mark
of the IRA's new lethal capacity
under Martin McGuinness's leadership.
It made Martin McGuinness one of Northern Ireland's most wanted men.
One of those hunting him was a young Catholic RUC officer
named Peter Sheridan.
For some police officers he was a hate figure,
for some police officers he an object of fear,
and for many of us, he was treated with deep suspicion.
When I came to Derry first of all in '78,
he would have been the number one person
that people would have been on the lookout for in the police.
As a young sergeant in Londonderry,
Peter Sheridan was trying to introduce community policing.
Two or three years ago, people wouldn't have expected to see
police out walking on the street again.
It's a gradual improvement that we have to make.
We can't just decide overnight
that we're going to go out today and two policemen
are going to walk about again, like they did in the early '60s.
Meanwhile, the IRA was trying to kill him.
You must have lived under constant threat yourself?
Yes, I did. Almost every day in the city there was some incident.
For example, at Magee College,
I was the first on the scene of the shooting of a prison lecturer.
The IRA shot lecturer Leslie Jarvis because he taught in prison,
but they also left a booby-trap for police responding to the attack.
I arrived at this car, where he was shot dead.
I got into the car and felt his pulse, and he was dead.
I remembered seeing his briefcase in the back of the car.
So I cordoned off the area and called the detectives,
walked over to detectives to explain the set-up.
I literally walked away and the bomb exploded,
which was his briefcase had been replaced.
The two officers were killed,
and I was literally 20 feet from them.
A biography of Martin McGuinness later claimed
he watched the attack unfold.
They wanted to kill most police officers,
but if you were Catholic in the police, you were a bigger target.
If you were senior, you were a bigger target.
The former Assistant Chief Constable now heads
Northern Ireland's leading reconciliation charity,
and worked closely with Martin McGuinness, the politician,
and grew to like him...
..despite the fact Martin McGuinness had previously wanted him dead.
Given that the IRA tried to kill you,
and given that Martin McGuinness was such a senior figure in the IRA
at that time, when you join the dots,
it effectively means that Martin McGuinness tried to kill you.
Yeah. And I have had probably that not dissimilar conversation
with him and many others in the Republican movement.
But Martin McGuinness wasn't just an IRA leader.
He was also emerging as an elected politician.
With your successes in today's elections,
is this now not the time to give up the Armalite?
We have always said that we believe that we can only achieve
what we are attempting to establish in Ireland,
a democratic socialist republic,
through the use of political action and military force.
That is the Republican position.
We don't believe that winning elections
and winning any amount of votes will bring freedom in Ireland.
At the end of the day,
it will be the cutting edge of the IRA which will bring freedom.
Always with Martin McGuinness,
the military went hand in hand with the political.
When he was being carried down the Guildhall steps
the first time he was elected, if you look at the fuss,
the kind of shock-horror,
I think he came to realise that the political path
had as much to offer as the armed path.
They were determined to say to people,
"Look, our vote means people support the armed struggle."
But McGuinness at that stage thought, "If we don't keep going,
"then we're not going to get anywhere."
The armed struggle is what gives the Republican movement its weight,
or, as he said, it's cutting edge.
There was another key element to what the IRA called its war.
Once again, Martin McGuinness was at the forefront.
I believe the people will vote for me
because I have been active, certainly,
on the Republican side
against the British.
I have been totally opposed to their presence
in my country.
And I certainly believe and support the aims of the IRA
in that Ireland can only be freed, that peace can only come,
and this is what is important.
At the end of the day, I am a man of peace.
At other times, he denied his involvement in the IRA.
Whoever said that I was a member of the IRA?
Are you saying that I'm a member of the IRA?
The definitive history of the IRA names you
as the OC of the Derry Brigade.
Well, I have never said that I was in the IRA.
Are you denying that you ran the IRA in Free Derry?
I am not a member of the IRA.
In 1985, a BBC documentary called Real Lives,
due to be screened across the UK,
examined this man of contradictions,
placing the Corporation right in the firing line.
While the IRA wanted to bring down the British Government,
this half hour of television almost brought down the BBC.
Margaret Thatcher's Government wanted the programme scrapped.
The BBC withdrew it, leading to accusations of both censorship
and propaganda. It was broadcast two months later.
We had the Real Lives documentary, which was revolutionary.
The past 15 years have seen many sacrifices.
In Republican graves throughout Ireland
lie the remains of Irishmen and women who saw that resistance
was the only method that Britain understood.
It actually showed someone who had been frequently called
a leading IRA man playing with his kids on the beach,
laughing and talking with his wife.
Very relaxed, very calm.
So, it actually showed him as a human being
and allowed him to discuss what his views and aspirations
and what his feelings were.
We believe the only way that Irish people can bring about
the freedom of their country
is through the use of armed struggle.
I wish it could be done in another way.
If someone could tell me a peaceful way to do it,
then I would gladly support that. But no-one has yet done that.
We saw him counterpoised with Gregory Campbell.
Hello. How are you?
Nobody had any conception of how controversial it would be,
that Margaret Thatcher would intervene.
and it would for a day, I think,
create a worldwide news strike by BBC journalists.
I don't think anybody would say I was responsible for that.
But I had a clear choice.
It was clear to me what the producers were trying to do,
and that was to present Martin McGuinness in a particular light.
So I said, "Well, if they do, I will present the truth about him."
And perhaps that's what I'm doing now as well.
In the Protestant community, there is a great concern
that somebody like Martin McGuinness
can become almost a cult figure
in the Republican community,
can be elected at election after election.
It was quite interesting because we saw a shot
of Gregory Campbell cleaning his gun.
So, it was a neat sort of reversal.
You were expecting to see Martin McGuinness maybe cleaning his,
but it wasn't to be.
What you saw with me was a factual representation
of the way it was in 1984.
But I didn't like the correlation of illegal arms
that were used to kill innocent people
with the personal protection weapon
that was being used to defend innocent people.
I remember the controversy over the parallels which
the Real Lives programme drew between Martin McGuinness
on the one hand and Gregory Campbell on the other.
People on both sides were a bit angry about that.
Gregory's people were angry about their man being compared to
and IRA activist,
and Republicans were angry at their leader
being compared to somebody who was perceived as a sectarian bigot.
Were there any similarities between you and Martin McGuinness?
Well, I suppose we were round about the same age,
and we breathed the same air.
But it wasn't all about PR and publicity.
Even in the later stages of the IRA campaign,
and even in Martin McGuinness's home city,
violence towards those considered to be informers and collaborators
The IRA decided to use civilians as human bombs.
The place and times that belonged to Martin McGuinness
also belonged to Kathleen Gillespie.
She grew up in Derry
and married her husband Patsy in the same church
where Martin McGuinness's funeral was held last week.
I don't know if it was love at first sight,
but I fancied him when I was 16.
We got engaged when I was 17
and we got married when I was 20.
Like many in Derry in the early '70s,
Patsy Gillespie found it hard to get work.
He started cooking in an Army base, a risky job in a city
where the IRA was such a heavy presence.
It wasn't a sensible move.
But Patsy didn't want to be on the dole.
He needed a job, wanted to look after his family.
Patsy's job made him what the IRA called a legitimate target.
One night in October 1990,
masked gunmen took over the family home.
They took Patsy away at midnight,
they led him into the living room to say goodbye to us.
-The terrorists told Mrs Gillespie
that no-one would be harmed
and her husband would be back in half an hour.
He put his arms round us and said, "Don't worry, girl.
"Everything will be all right, I will be home soon."
And that was the last time I saw him.
Patsy Gillespie was one of three men the IRA forced
to drive car bombs that night.
In Newry and Omagh, the drivers managed to escape
before the bombs went off, but Patsy Gillespie had no chance
to get away from the massive bomb he drove.
The van contained, to my knowledge, 1,200lb of explosives,
and Patsy was chained to the van.
So, he must've known then,
"I'm chained. I'm not going to get out of here."
-A senior security source said last night's bombings
reveal an obscene new twist.
He said they're using human bombs.
He drove into the Army checkpoint at Coshquin
and immediately shouted a warning,
"I'm loaded, I'm loaded, get away! Get away!
Patsy Gillespie and five soldiers were killed in the blast.
Kathleen heard the bomb go off from her home.
We sort of knew all day that Patsy was dead,
but the confirmation didn't come
because...there was nothing to identify him.
There was only...
The police were finding wee bits of body parts and bits of flesh,
and Patsy was identified by a piece of flesh
which was found attached to part of a grey zip
of the cardigan he was wearing when they took him away.
Did you know that at the time?
No. Patsy's remains were brought home from the hospital
on the Friday,
and I still thought that they were
taking me to identify the body.
Because I said to the detectives when we went to the mortuary
"Are we going in to identify the body now?"
And he said, "The coffin's closed, Kathleen."
That's when I thought, "Something's not right here."
When you look at that and compare it to the 21st century
and Isis, that is probably the closest that they came
to being the forerunner to Isis.
You recall the horror which went through the area,
including among people who were not at all unsympathetic
to the armed struggle.
I remember the day after,
seeing a senior member of the Provisional IRA,
in Rossville Street,
and crossing the street to say to him and I said,
"That was a really lousy action last night."
He replied, "Eamonn, that was a perfect military operation."
In 2013, at the Oxford Union,
Martin McGuinness was challenged about Patsy Gillespie's death
by Victor Barker whose 12-year-old son was killed in the Omagh bomb.
Patsy Gillespie's widow,
who's alive today,
knows exactly what happened
and who ordered the death of her husband.
Everybody in this room would have more respect for you, Martin,
if you accepted your position
and you started telling the truth.
I don't know who was involved in the bomb explosion
which took the life of Patsy Gillespie.
Some people might think I do, but I don't.
When you say you don't know, for example, in Patsy Gillespie's case,
-you could find out.
-I'm in government.
The job of finding out is the responsibility of the police.
By the stage of the human bombs in 1990,
operations like that would have
needed the approval of the Northern Command leadership,
and he was OC of the Northern Command.
So he would have known all about it and given the go-ahead.
A good few years ago,
I had to try and come to terms
with the fact that all the truths will never be told.
There are so many secrets still,
and Martin McGuinness has taken
a lot of secrets to the grave with him,
which can never be revealed.
This is where Patsy Gillespie died.
Time and the peace process have removed
more of the Army checkpoint than the bomb did.
It's very strange, because I feel closer to Patsy at Coshquin
than I do actually at his grave.
To me, Coshquin is the last place where Patsy was complete.
It's like part of his presence is still around there somewhere.
I do send my condolences to Martin McGuinness's wife
but, at the same time, I'm very envious of her and her family
because they got to sit beside him while he died, and comfort him.
And it was a comfort for them. And I was robbed of that.
It's hard to reconcile Martin McGuinness
the IRA leader who sanctioned such horror
with Martin McGuinness the politician
who did so much in recent years to make this place work.
Within months of Patsy Gillespie's murder,
he was holding secret peace talks with the British Government,
which ultimately ended the IRA's campaign.
For some reason, he'd decided the violence had to stop.
And it's important to try and understand why.
Was this simply a new tactic
or had Martin McGuinness seen the error of his ways?
Martin McGuinness's life, a very public life,
is that of a journey.
If we read in the Scriptures
about Saul of Tarsus making a remarkable journey,
being the chief of sinners and becoming
God's and Christ's chief witness,
and Martin McGuinness, while it's not a theological journey,
it has been a life journey where he has been the chief sinner
and has become the person who has become one of the
chief peacemakers in Northern Ireland.
Religion may have played its part, but even in Belfast's
Clonard Monastery, where key talks were held,
the sales pitch for peace was grounded in practical politics.
Through working with Father Alec Reid
and the peace ministry
that ran from Clonard Monastery,
and I knew of the work that was
being done to try and persuade the IRA
towards the democratic process,
to use politics and to leave behind the gun,
I became aware of what a very important figure he was,
also of what a very, very important figure Gerry Adams was
in terms of bringing that paramilitary constituency with them,
persuading them to what Father Alec always used to call
the alternative solution, the alternative strategy.
Violence and the politics for Republicans were always
The balance was what changed.
Eventually it was seen that violence was counter-productive
for Republicans and that they could achieve more by politics.
Martin McGuinness brought plenty of fanaticism to the violent era
of the Provisional IRA, and he brought the same fanaticism
into the peace process.
And if peace was a tactical move by Republicans,
was that because the IRA had reached stalemate with the British
or even faced defeat?
Once Martin McGuinness decided that the IRA's armed struggle was
not yielding what he had hoped and thought it would achieve,
he was prepared to be flexible
in terms of operating on a different basis.
The fact that it took so long to get serious communication about
the sort of ending of the conflict was partly because it needed
to get to the point where the IRA thought,
"We do need to bring something to an end or at least to change
"our strategy in pursuing our Republican goals."
Did a penny drop?
Was there a shaft of light from heaven?
Was there a Damascus road moment in Martin McGuinness's life?
I tend not to think so.
I think it was a gradual process,
a realisation on his part and on other people's part,
and of course they would probably never concede or admit this,
that their war was unwinnable,
that the British were actually on top of them.
How do you then rationalise where Martin McGuinness got to?
People can change. There can be a change of heart in people.
And I actually think that they're entitled to have that change
and entitled to be encouraged in that change.
And I think most people would recognise that that's what
you saw in Martin McGuinness.
Change of heart, or simply change of head and tactics?
It's hard to overstate how big a stretch it was for
a Republican leader like Martin McGuinness to come here,
the seat of Unionism on the hill, and take office.
I nominate Martin McGuinness as Minister for Education.
Will Mr Martin McGuinness confirm that
-he is willing to take up office?
What's clear is that he took to it with born-again zeal.
Good to see you. How are you doing? Thank you very much.
The cameras were out to capture the new Education Minister's
first day at the department's headquarters in Rathgael.
-McGuinness out. Went do we want it?
-What do we want?
-When do we want it?
And they also captured the angry protests at Queen's Students' Union.
That looks far better than I do. My curly hair, what's left of it.
A younger generation appeared more welcoming.
# That's when your dreams will all come true. #
-Brilliant. Absolutely first class.
Well done, everybody.
Having taken the huge step of entering Stormont,
Martin McGuinness seemed genuinely upset
when it appeared likely to fall over decommissioning.
It's been absolutely gut-wrenching for me,
as an Irish Republican, to come to this building, Stormont,
and be a minister in a Northern Executive.
But was he being seduced by the institutions?
It was surprising just how far he would travel to keep Stormont alive.
It certainly led him into some astonishing relationships.
It was a summer's evening
and I turned up on my motorbike and
I wear a balaclava on my motorbike,
and I took my helmet off and McGuinness was standing there
and I took the balaclava off and I said,
"I'm the only one wearing a balaclava here."
And that broke the ice.
Because I think they could've taken that one of two ways.
"Is he deliberately trying to rub us the wrong way
"or was that actually quite funny?"
But serious business needed to be done.
Painful choices for Sinn Fein and the IRA.
Partnership government with the DUP meant Republican support
for policing, decommissioning
and the winding up of the IRA.
Martin McGuinness, who did so much to build the IRA,
was now charged with taking it apart.
Martin was the guy who was going to have to sell it to the troops,
and it was the things that he said,
you knew he was the guy that was going into the caves
to sell the message.
Martin McGuinness brought Sinn Fein over the Rubicon that they've
never, ever been able to go back on.
And that was swearing support and giving legitimacy
to the Crown forces of the British state in Ireland.
And once a Republican does that in the cold light of day, there's
no going back for them.
And their weapons are no longer the weapons of murder,
their weapons have to be the weapons of politics.
The Republican romance with Stormont was now personified
in a most unlikely couple.
People that never spoke to one another before now can even chuckle.
We've been described as the Chuckle Brothers back home
by people who thought that would've demeaned us in the beginning.
It turned against them in the end and we're hoping we can
chuckle our way through 2008.
He knows that I can stand the pace
and he complains I work him too hard.
He and I have a very positive approach, and it's working.
I haven't hit him yet
and he hasn't hit me yet.
Not an inch and no surrender.
My father had charisma in bucket-loads,
and Martin McGuinness had the X factor.
They had that ability to look people directly in the eye,
talk to them man to man,
person to person, and empathise and sympathise and engage with them.
And all of a sudden here we were on a settee, a small settee,
that obviously had good springs.
We were in the midst of battles.
That's right. Campaigning.
We're only too glad he'd bring this to both of you...
And, you know, it was amazing.
But funny, you know, I remember that morning talking Paisley
and he believed
that this Martin McGuinness guy had transformed,
and Martin McGuinness believed that Ian Paisley had transformed.
I had developed a very good working relationship with Martin McGuinness.
He was a crucial figure in the negotiations
to get self-government in which he played a leading role
and which the old enemies were brought together
to get that agreed and get it working properly
and the unlikely alliance with Ian Paisley.
The Chuckle Brothers, was, I think,
indicative of a warm personality on both sides.
Of course the DUP-Sinn Fein marriage was far from perfect,
though it was surprisingly solid,
even when Ian Paisley was replaced by Peter Robinson.
Through thick and thin,
Martin McGuinness proved his fidelity.
And when a challenge came from former Republican comrades
he made it abundantly clear where his loyalties now lay.
The shooting happened just before 10 o'clock last night.
The soldiers from 38 Engineer Regiment
were hours from deployment to Afghanistan.
It's understood they'd ordered the pizzas
and were shot as they took delivery of them.
Two days after the Massereene Barracks shooting,
PSNI officer Stephen Carroll was shot dead in Craigavon.
This was the first killing of a police officer in Northern Ireland
since the Good Friday Agreement.
Martin McGuinness's condemnation proved a watershed.
These people, they are traitors to the island of Ireland.
They have betrayed the political desires,
hopes and aspirations of all the people who live in this island
and they don't deserve to be supported by anyone.
It would have been a difficult message for him to sell in
his own community, even though it was dissidents.
I know, around his own house,
there were some paint bombs thrown at his house,
so it didn't go unnoticed.
But not everybody had signed up to the extent that
Martin McGuinness had signed up to this.
The day that he did that,
he was signalling very, very strongly to Republicans
that he had crossed the Rubicon.
That there's no going back.
He knew, ideologically, the day that he took his oath as a minister,
an oath that included support for the police, that was it.
His language that day was absolutely incredible.
It had an effect all over the island of Ireland.
I think that resounded and was hugely brave.
When you say he's brave, do you mean politically brave
or are we talking about threats to his life?
Oh, threats to his life.
I mean, Martin, there was a threat to Martin's life for long periods.
I know that.
It seemed there were no lengths to which Martin McGuinness wouldn't go.
But it wasn't always his call alone.
With the historic state visit of the Queen to the Republic,
Sinn Fein was invited to Dublin Castle.
But meeting the Queen of England remained, at that time,
a step too far.
My hope had been that when she came to Dublin, to Dublin Castle,
that Sinn Fein would attend.
-That was my hope.
-They boycotted that.
Was that a mistake, from their point of view?
Oh, absolutely it was a mistake
and they knew very quickly that it was a mistake.
SHE SPEAKS IN GAELIC
It was a mistake that Martin McGuinness rectified in Belfast.
If Martin made up his mind that he was going to do something,
he did it.
-Do you think he was key in that?
-Totally. Totally. No doubt about it.
Totally. Lock, stock and barrel.
That was Martin McGuinness
making the decision that he was going to carry this.
-I'm still a Republican.
-Martin, how was it to meet the Queen?
There came a sense of respect between the two people.
In some ways, I think Martin McGuinness
treated the Queen like the way he would have treated his mother.
They were the same age bracket.
There was almost that deference to somebody who was an older person
and it was incredibly brave of the Queen
to step forward to reach out her hand.
But it was equally courageous of Martin McGuinness
in his own constituency to take her hand.
In shaking the hand of Queen Elizabeth, I'm extending the hand of
peace and reconciliation to all of my Unionist brothers and sisters.
He showed a lot of courage in doing that,
because there would have been Republicans...
There were Republicans who sniped at him for meeting the Queen.
He showed leadership as opposed to followership.
It wasn't just one meeting with the Queen.
Deputy First Minister, Your Majesty.
-Ah, good evening.
-Hello. Are you well?
-Thank you very much, I'm still alive!
-Nice to see you again.
But the past is not easily forgotten.
Martin McGuinness never apologised for past actions of the IRA.
And that always had the potential to threaten the process.
When Arlene Foster took charge as First Minister, she told Spotlight
about the difficulties she experienced with Martin McGuinness
because of his graveside oration at the IRA funeral
of the man she believes tried to kill her father.
If you talk to Martin McGuinness now, he will say,
and I heard him say it just recently,
that Unionists aren't the enemy,
the enemy is poverty, the enemy is unemployment,
the enemy is this, that and the other.
That's fine but it doesn't take away from the fact
that he thought it appropriate to speak at Seamus McElwaine's funeral.
A man who had been responsible for murdering
many people in County Fermanagh.
In one of his final interviews, Martin McGuinness was asked
if he had regrets about endorsing the use of violence.
I don't regret any of that.
But I think that people can judge all of that, and the people
who wrote about these matters were never in the city,
they don't understand what was happening in the city at the time.
I can understand people now saying,
"Well, the Martin McGuinness of the early 1970s and '80s and '90s,
"you have to look at him in that context of that time,
"whatever false justification he might have been used
"for being involved in the IRA."
If you look at the latter Martin McGuinness, in latter days,
even in the final couple of months of his life,
he had resigned as Deputy First Minister,
the peace process was well embedded, over 20 years on,
he was obviously gravely ill,
everyone could see he was gravely ill and he knew it.
The Grim Reaper was almost at the door, and the Martin McGuinness
of the latter days, the resigned Martin McGuinness,
the peacemaker Martin McGuinness said, "I regret none of it."
That summed the man up for me.
But Martin McGuinness did stretch Republicans
and made some big gestures.
But his supporters didn't feel the DUP responded in kind.
Now battling serious illness,
scandals like the Renewable Heating Incentive raised serious tensions.
A DUP decision to scrap an Irish language scheme
added to a sense of crisis.
The frail and dying Martin McGuinness tried a strategy
that had worked before, but his power was slipping away.
I phoned Arlene Foster, I said to her,
"Arlene, what I'm asking for is your cooperation.
"Stand aside for four or five weeks."
I provided a way out for Arlene Foster, and she refused to take it.
Why did Martin McGuinness ultimately resign?
Ultimately, the reason McGuinness resigned was the Nationalist and
Republican base had had enough of this sense that the DUP were
essentially setting the agenda.
McGuinness was able to counter that to some degree,
but what happened over the unfolding RHI scandal
and the arrogant way that the DUP were seen
to be dismissing Sinn Fein concerns
I think really forced Martin McGuinness's hand
in a way that he was left with no other choice than to resign.
We in Sinn Fein will not tolerate
the arrogance of Arlene Foster and the DUP.
Sinn Fein wants equality and respect for everyone.
And that's what this process must be about.
So today I have told Arlene Foster
that I have tendered my resignation, effective from 5pm today.
I have no doubt that that was a devastating time for him.
Personally devastating, because everything that
he had worked for was not just about building up,
but sustaining the institutions.
Just weeks after he resigned,
Republicans were laying their hero to rest.
We applaud Martin McGuinness. He was a Republican of the Republic.
The dual leadership of Adams and McGuinness has been a constant
at the forefront of the Republican movement
since the two first met back in 1972,
when they went to negotiate with the British Government.
With Martin McGuinness now gone and Gerry Adams solely in charge, what
many are asking is have Republicans fallen out of love with Stormont?
Are we entering a kind of long cold war in Northern Ireland politics?
I think, for Sinn Fein,
they felt they were making very little progress
within the institutions,
so I think the era of Sinn Fein support
for the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement,
whilst it's not over, there's no doubt that Sinn Fein have cooled
on the idea of devolved power-sharing,
at least in the short term.
Why is Sinn Fein apparently reluctant
to go back into Stormont government?
They know they have just secured their highest ever vote
in a Northern Ireland election, at a time when, under the
leadership of Martin McGuinness, really as his final act as leader,
he pulled the plug on the institutions.
And by doing so, he tapped into a sentiment that had existed
within Nationalism that the institutions were not working
in an even manner to deliver for both Nationalists and Unionism,
that the pendulum had swung too far in favour of Unionists.
Having worked so hard to make Stormont function,
some Republican sources say Martin McGuinness
would have wanted it to return.
But Brexit, due to be formally triggered by Theresa May
tomorrow, has changed the circumstances in a way
that Gerry Adams seems to relish.
In a way, then, Brexit is a gift for you, right?
You campaigned against it, but now that it's happening,
you're using it to make the case for a united Ireland.
Yeah, well, you always have to never
waste a crisis, never waste a difficulty.
Gerry Adams has said never waste a good crisis.
Is that what we're now seeing playing out?
There's absolutely no doubt about that.
Adams is going to make as much use as he can of this crisis.
It is a crisis.
The difference is, 20 years ago, it would have been a security crisis.
Now it's a political crisis.
It is a perfect storm for Republicans.
They have political advantages now
that they've not seen in a long, long time.
They used them to dramatic effect on 2nd March at the election.
They came very close to overtaking the DUP
in terms of seats and the popular vote.
This is the onward march of Sinn Fein.
I'm not sure it's a march that can be stopped.
Rather than calming Unionist nerves,
Sinn Fein is calling for a border poll.
Brexit, as we have stated on many occasion, will be a
disaster for the economy and
it'll be a disaster for the people of Ireland.
For us in Sinn Fein, that increases the urgency for
the need for a referendum on Irish unity,
and that needs to happen as soon as possible.
A united Ireland has moved up the political agenda.
Sinn Fein could easily become the largest party
Sinn Fein will almost certainly enter coalition government
within the South.
It's one step further to actually achieve a majority
for a united Ireland.
But it's less inconceivable, the prospect of a
united Ireland, than it was even two years ago.
Now it appears that it's become much more part of the mainstream
discourse in the South as well as the North again.
There is no prospect that a border poll could
be won and deliver a united Ireland in the short term.
This is more a period for building towards
But is this change in tactics driven by events, or the
absence of Martin McGuinness?
I genuinely believe that Stormont would have collapsed if he had been
part of the Sinn Fein process up to the end.
I know they say he was, but I
think his influence was lacking at that time.
And I think that the Executive
wouldn't have collapsed to the same extent that it did.
I just think that Brexit is going to dominate politics, and therefore I
think that we need a good few statesmen around the place.
It would have been nice to have McGuinness around to
do some of that type of stuff.
I think there's a challenge here for Republicans.
Do they want his legacy to live on?
Or do they want to diminish it?
And the fact that they don't have a big beast of
his calibre, and they don't have someone with his interpersonal
skills in Sinn Fein at the present time means that there is huge danger
of that relationship not working properly.
And that relationship has got to be synchronised.
But others are less convinced that Gerry Adams is doing
anything different to what Martin McGuinness himself
would have supported.
Well, there is a view that he was one of the
primary advocates of keeping the institutions running.
I suppose it's one of the ultimate ironies, then,
that he was the man that brought them down by his resignation.
I think one of the most significant aspects of
Martin McGuinness's time as a leading Republican was that he
forged a remarkable dual leadership alongside Gerry Adams, and that
brought the Republicanism from the IRA campaign
to the peace process, and through the peace process,
political talks, into the devolved era.
It was striking that at no period of their tenure as dual leaders
could you have put a cigarette paper between them.
And that was true to outsiders but also to insiders.
They were very, very careful to never allow any
sense that one was disagreeing with the other.
There were definitely inseparable.
And it wasn't good guy, bad guy.
I mean, they were very much on the one page.
That key partnership is no more.
It is now Adams alone, raising questions
and uncertainty for Sinn Fein and the future.
After nearly a decade of sustained devolved government,
in which Martin McGuinness played a key role,
the future of our political institutions remains uncertain.
Talks have failed, Brexit is coming,
and Martin McGuinness has left the stage.
Martin McGuinness's journey was indeed remarkable, from IRA hard man
to soft peacemaker, shaking hands with the Queen and building a warm
and very important relationship with the DUP leader, Ian Paisley.
The problem with Northern Ireland politics today is there are
insufficient leaders of the stature
of Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness
who have the capacity to lead and sometimes tell their followers
things they don't want to hear, and have the courage to do that.
It seems to me that we all have to make our minds up now,
that political failure is not an option,
that whatever we need to do, and part of that will involve
getting out of the sectarian bunkers and focusing on the future
and all the issues that are lying ahead of us -
the economics of Northern Ireland.
Given where we are now, with Martin McGuinness having left
the political stage, with institutions that have
fallen down, with big movements elsewhere, with Brexit and the
implications for that, are we entering a more dangerous phase?
From a distance, it's a worry.
All I can do is pray that they have the guts,
have the conviction, have the ability and are able to do it.
But as we talk, it's a question mark.
So how will Martin McGuinness be remembered,
given the question mark hanging over Stormont?
I think when you're assessing Martin McGuinness's legacy, there are two
aspects to it that shout out, both which have to be remembered.
One is the crafting of a peace process which has the
opportunity to make Northern Ireland, Ireland,
British-Irish politics, transformed in a peaceful way
which would not have been possible had people like McGuinness
not decided to move the movement in that direction.
Having said that, the irony of it is, of course,
that we wouldn't have needed a peace process in Northern Ireland had it
not been that in an earlier stage of his career,
people like Martin McGuiness decided that lethal violence,
IRA activity was a necessary and legitimate thing.
And I think both parts of the legacy are important.
Gunman or statesman, Provo or peacemaker,
his past and our future now inextricably linked.