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How Martin McGuinness learned to build relationships

The Sinn Féin politician died early on Tuesday

By David McKittrick  

Martin McGuinness pictured in 2011 ©Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

The IRA that Martin McGuinness joined as a young man in the early 1970s didn’t do relationships: it did bullets and bombs. Today, McGuinness died aged 66 from a heart condition. It is therefore worth reflecting on what changed—and his role in bringing about that change.

To most in the IRA’s ranks politics was a dirty word: politicians were the lowest of the low, a contemptible species prepared to compromise and sell out ancient republican purities.

The IRA had…

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