Let’s face it: the Presidential election got a whole lot more interesting when Martin McGuinness’s name was thrown into the hat.
Sinn Féin, taking full advantage of Mícheál Martin’s countless own goals, and a Fine Gael campaign that’s hardly setting the world alight; clearly believe they’re in with a shout.
When standing for such office, one must expect all manner of media inquiry. It goes with the territory, so there was never any doubt that Mr McGuinness’s IRA past would become a hot topic.
And no-one would have been more acutely aware of that than Mr McGuinness himself.
Claiming that “West Brit elements” were inflaming the issue was a natural reaction for a man who probably knows as little about South Dublin’s leafy suburbs as South Dubliners do about life in the Bogside.
Few of us in the Republic know what it’s like to be intimidated, to live as second-class citizens, to be denied a job purely on religious grounds, to have nothing but distrust of one’s police force.