I welcome the entry of Martin McGuinness into a presidental race dominated by media goons and political shills. At the very least he provides a radical alternative to the predictable views of the Labour and Fine Gael candidates. This country needs a new outfit – not a retailoring of the worn out Fianna Fail suit (take in the trousers, fix the holes in the pockets etc.). We all know that Fine Gael will not touch the bankers, and Labour will do nothing to discomfit the upper echelons of the public service. So combined in government they adhere to Fianna Fail policy on those rotten boroughs.
Fintan O’Toole (Irish Times, 20th Sep) joins the predictable establishment assault on McGuinness and certainly scores a point with his assertion about civilian casualties in the North. This may give pause to those who would point to War of Independence parallels and see McGuinness as a modern version of Michael Collins. But we must not forget the murky civil rights landscape in the North that was transformed following the activities of McGuinness and the IRA and the subsequent peace process he did so much to facilitate.
He may not win the prize but I suspect he will make it a far more interesting contest.