It appears that the health of Martin McGuinness, the former commander of the IRA in Londonderry or, as he prefers to be known, former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, is deteriorating fast. His date with the grim reaper is almost upon him. Can I honestly say that i am sorry about this?
I wish death upon no-one but there are just a few folk who make me think long and hard about the issue and McGuinness is one of them. While the BBC and the Guardian are already now doubt planning an obituary praising the great peacemaker and statesman, they will have to gloss over an awful lot of blood on the hands of old Martin as the praise the blood soaked old bastard.
As a active commander in Londonderry it is almost certain that Martin killed people himself. Without doubt he ordered many more deaths across Ulster over many years as he rose to the top of the IRA. He has failed to fully acknowledge, accept, let alone apologise for, his role in those deaths. While everyone else involved in "The Troubles" is expected to come clean, this murderous old Fenian has refused to say how many times he pulled a trigger to end a life. And he has never said sorry for the times he killed people.
Worse still he has pushed - as "a peacemaker" - for a double standard.
I would concede, as would most folks, that during "the troubles" there were acts committed by all participants which were quite simply war crimes. It is an anniversary this week of the murders of three IRA members in Gibraltar by the British Army. that was a state sanctioned execution and was wrong. Both the IRA and Loyalist gunmen funded their wars by flooding the poorest estates of Northern Ireland with drugs. They ran the drugs trade, killing their own folks, to buy weapons to kill the other lot. Can we really overlook this and the role of McGuinness in a business he must have sanctioned?
The British Army, Loyalist killers and the IRA all, rightly, stand accused of far too many things for which there can be no defence. But evil Martin McGuinness cannot accept that, so demands endless enquiry after endless enquiry into bad things done by the Brits but has insisted on no enquiries and full amnesties for IRA combatants. That approach is morally repugnant and, worse still, it is divisive.
The BBC will undoubtedly laud McGuinness the peacemaker but encouraging division as he has done is not an act I can praise. Martin McGuinness has not repented for his undoubted sins and he has sinned not least in breaking the sixth commandment on a number of occasions. Showing no penitence he has then created more hatred with his divisive approach to others who broke the sixth commandment.
And it is for those two reasons that Martin Mcguinness troubles me with regard to his impending demise. Do I wish death upon him? No. We all have to die sometime and it appears that Martin will enjoy a quick death with minimal suffering and in that respect he is lucky. Luckier perhaps than some IRA victims whose death only came after prolonged torture.
In due course Mr McGuinness will find himself wandering up to the Pearly Gates to meet St Peter. We will, of course, all be found wanting on that great day of judgement. But, I rather suspect, that in many respects Mr McGuinness will be found more wanting than most. As he approaches death I do hope that this is something that, at last, is starting to trouble him greatly.