When did Martin McGuinness become a patriot?

Martin McGuinnessMartin McGuinness died last month and his life and actions have been widely discussed.  There is much that can be said about the good and bad things that Martin McGuinness did in his life though there is not enough space in this post to discuss all his actions and achievements.

The biggest enigma about Martin McGuinness

The biggest enigma about Mr. McGuinness is to figure out when did he become a patriot. Following the killings of British soldiers and a police constable in 2009, McGuinness called the killers “traitors to the island of Ireland”. Those were strong words and very effective in condemning the killers. He was highly commended for taking such a strong stance. Nevertheless it begs the question – considering McGuinness had been in command of the Provisional IRA for so long and it killed in the exact same type of way as the so-called dissident republicans but on a larger scale, was McGuinness not also a traitor to Ireland?
Were all the previous IRA combatants going back to 1916 who fought the British also traitors to Ireland?
When did fighting for Irish freedom become traitorous but standing beside the main unionist leader and an Englishman in command of the British police in the north and condemning former colleagues who kept fighting in the same way as McGuinness once did become patriotic?
It is an enigma that neither Martin McGuinness nor others have managed to explain. I guess it is one of many mysteries and secrets that have gone with McGuinness to his grave.

The IRA failed

My own personal view is that the Provisional Irish Republican Army failed and in the end they sold out what they stood for by accepting an internal settlement in the UK. The British government did not transfer one kilometer of land it controlled in the north of Ireland to the Irish state. If a definition of patriotism is fighting against a state for most of your life and then agreeing to become a minister of the state, then it is a very strange type of patriotism.
With that in mind it is worth hearing in his own words what Martin McGuiness said about traitors. It just shows how much he had changed over the decades.