Gallagher puts it up to McGuinness
‘No tolerance of people who murder gardai’ says frontrunner
INDEPENDENT presidential candidate Sean Gallagher has said that if the Sinn Fein candidate Martin McGuinness has information in relation to the killing of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, he should give that information to the gardai.
“There can be no tolerance for people who murder gardai or members of the Defence Forces, or security personnel in general, who are the very guardians of our society,” Mr Gallagher told the Sunday Independent yesterday. “If Martin McGuinness has information he should come forward like every other citizen and make that information available. . . there can be no room for ambiguity,” he said.
Last week Mr McGuinness denied he had such information. Mr Gallagher said he had expected the issue of the Provisional IRA killing of Mr McCabe would be raised during a debate at Dublin City University yesterday hosted by RTE broadcaster Charlie Bird. “I was expecting it to come around . . . I was expecting it to be the next question,” Mr Gallagher said, arising out of the intervention last week of Ann McCabe, widow of the slain officer.
However, the question was not raised. Asked why, Bird said afterwards that there was no deliberate intention to avoid the issue.
Bird said he had asked Mrs McCabe personally, in the first week of the campaign, to participate in a forum in Limerick on the suitability of the presidential candidates, but that she had declined. Mr Gallagher said afterwards: “My heart goes out to Ann McCabe, the wife of Jerry McCabe who was killed in a heinous crime doing his duty for the State.
“It brings me to Private Patrick Kelly’s son, David, coming forward. I know the family of Gary Sheehan, the guard who was also killed in Derrada Woods that day. I know that it’s hugely painful for his family now to have to live through this.
“All our support and solidarity must go now to the families, and anybody who knows anything about these crimes should come forward. “The gardai and the Army play such an important role in protecting our society and making it safe and secure for all of us. There should be absolutely no attempt to cover up any information. “I would call on all the candidates and anybody else throughout the country who has information to come and help bring that forward.
“There can be no room for ambiguity on the part of anybody who is standing in an election to be the President, to be the head of the defence forces, and to be the head of State.” Asked if the issue should be reflected on by voters, Mr Gallagher said: “I think people need to reflect on all these important issues, absolutely.”