Diarmuid McGuire M.A. ’72, who served as the opinions editor for The Stanford Daily between 1968-1970, died at the age of 80, his family announced on Feb. 6. At the time of his death, McGuire ran the Green Springs Inn & Mountain Cabins in Oregon, and he was most known at Stanford for writing the controversial “Snitches and Oppression,” a piece which served as the catalyst for The Daily’s independence.
His passing was confirmed by his wife, Oregon State Rep. Pam Marsh. In a statement to Fox 26, Marsh wrote: “Diarmuid never gave up his passion for righting the world. Although he would expound on climate tumult, ecosystem destruction, right wing politics and fascism, he remained fixated on hope — most recently, in the form of beavers, which he viewed as a practical and metaphorical answer to a world in crisis. His final instruction to all of us was to save the beaver.”
McGuire attended Princeton University for his undergraduate education before attending Stanford to receive a masters in communication. After graduating, he spent ten years at Lucile Salter Packard Children’s and El Camino hospitals as Director of Community Affairs in the Bay Area before moving to Oregon to work with numerous groups to protect the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Towards the end of his life, he worked with The Beaver Coalition to restore beaver habitat throughout the US, specifically in Oregon.
As a graduate student, he worked at The Daily as the opinions editor and wrote nearly 20 opinion pieces during his time.
Barbara Louchard ’70, who served as the Assistant Editorial Page Editor alongside McGuire, described him as a kind and professional man that supported her throughout her time at The Daily.
“He just was like a big brother,” Louchard said. “He was very caring and supportive of my writing. And he gave me these incredible assignments.”
She recounted a specific instance when McGuire gave her a wooden music box after she shared challenges she was going through at the time.
“I mean just out of the blue, he comes to [me] with this,” Louchard said. “I would have to say what stands out about him to me is his kindness. He had kindness and honesty… he put himself on the line for a lot of things.”
Among these instances was the publication of “Snitches and Oppression” in 1970 after McGuire’s brief stint in jail for breaking glass during a protest against the Vietnam War. The op-ed garnered backlash from the administration and divided some members of The Daily over its publication due to the possible implication of violence against two people that testified against him. The backlash from the op-ed eventually led to The Daily’s pursuit of independence from the University.
However, he wasn’t without critics and controversy, especially after the publication of “Snitches and Oppression.”
“Most of us on The Daily — including me — also thought publication was a terrible mistake,” said William Freivogel ‘71, a co-editor for The Daily at the time. “We certainly didn’t see [McGuire] as any sort of a hero for press freedom or Daily independence.”
Despite the mixed responses to the op-ed, Louchard admired him for his integrity and his willingness to fight for the right thing, something he continued to do until the end of his life.
“This is a guy who stands up for his beliefs,” Louchard said. “And, you know, you have to admire that kind of, you know, integrity of people who will do this.”