McGuinness says IRA did murder

Published Monday, 03 October 2011
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Martin McGuinness has said he accepted that a number killings carried out by the IRA during the Troubles could be described as murders.

In an interview with the Independent, the Irish presidential hopeful said he "would not disagree" with the families of victims of the Troubles that their deaths could be classed as murders.

"I'm not going to disagree with their analysis of what happened to their loved ones," he told the paper.

"I accept that, in the circumstances where innocent people lost their lives, then it's quite legitimate for the term murder to be used."

Both Sinn Féin and the IRA previously denied that any killings carried out by the republican paramilitary group could be classed as murders.

The IRA were involved in quite a number of incidents which resulted in the accidental killing of innocent people and the term used by the relatives of those people who were killed was that they were murdered. I wouldn't disagree with that.

Martin McGuinness

During a rally in Derry's Bogside on Thursday night, Mr McGuinness said his heart went out to all of the relatives of the UDR and RUC, who were killed in the city.

However, he has now told the Independent he would not condemn the killing of members of the security force, because "there was a war existing at the time".

"You would be asking me to say that what the IRA did in Derry, attacking the British Army, was wrong. I'm not going to do that."

Referring to his Bogside speech, Mr McGuinness said it was not pre-planned.

"My speech was off the top of my head. I thought it only fair to mention that many British soldiers did lose their lives and the pain of their families is no different from the pain of my friends' families."

The interview is the latest in a series of statements made by Mr McGuinness, who officially began his campaign for the Irish Presidency last week.

The former IRA commander denied that he was a member of the IRA at the time of the 1987 Enniskillen bombing, in which 11 people were killed. Last week, he said he was "ashamed" by the attack.

He previously said he was not directly responsible for killings carried out by the terrorist group.

"I didn't kill anybody, I didn't shoot anybody," Mr McGuinness told UTV-owned radio station Cork 96FM last month.

When asked if he had shot a gun at anybody, he replied: "Well I'm not going to get into the detail of all of that."

Mr McGuinness, who says he left the IRA in 1974, has been repeatedly asked questions about his paramilitary past.

"I know this is a debate that has been raging, but the media are more interested than the ordinary man and woman in the street," he said.

"I don't think the majority of people - to be quite honest - care. I think they see me as someone who was at one stage of my life in the IRA, but they see me in the round, as someone who was able to make peace."

Mr McGuinness will go head to head with David Norris, Dana Rosemary Scallon, Gay Mitchell, Michael D Higgins, Mary Davis and Sean Gallagher when the Republic goes to the polls on 27 October.

© UTV News
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19 Comments
Guilpin in Earth wrote (1,081 days ago):
Norman, as per the G.F.A., Ireland is the whole island. On another point, and I know this seems to be a very difficult point for you and your ilk to grasp, Martin carries an Irish passport which makes him a citizen of the island of Ireland, etc., etc.. (for fear of repeating what I stated a couple of lines ago.). There's a term springs to mind which aptly describes yourself - an odious moron!
Marie in Dublin wrote (1,081 days ago):
Norman, we would be happy to have Martin McGuiness as our president, If he is elected, he will be an All Ireland President, which will be great, As much as the media down here have tried to ruin him, he is topping most polls, he topped the tv3 poll last night after the debate. Martin is beating Gay Mitchell who represent our government party. This will be another step to a United Ireland if Martin wins. he has my vote
norman in lisburn wrote (1,082 days ago):
I am encouraging friends in Ireland to vote for him, although many seem reluctant. We want to get rid of him from Northern Ireland, and his emigration seems an ideal solution. Then Ireland can get a taste of his aggressive whinging, and his questionable past behaviour and good luck to them, although they are a decent people and I am not sure they deserve him as an embarrassing Head of State to have to live with on the "world stage".
Martin in belfast wrote (1,082 days ago):
Martin McGuiness is a lot smarter than people may think! Everything he has done over the past lot of years has been moving that bit closer to a united Ireland. As far as I’m concerned ONCE Martin is elected president of Ireland and with the support Sinn Fein already have in the north .... It is just a matter of time before Sinn Fein & the IRA get what they have fought for, for so long. AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT !!! Whether you want to admit it or not!!
steve in belfast wrote (1,082 days ago):
Two people from Derry/Londonderry in this race Dana is a lovely person who is liked by all the people of this island, Martin is liked only by the republicians who thought it was ok to murder in the name of whatever to hell their cause was supposed to be.It,s time for the people of the Republic to show the world what they really do think of the IRA murder campaign, if they vote Martin in so be it, it will show their true colours !
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