Monday 23 January 2017

Martin McGuinness slams decision to try Thomas 'Slab' Murphy in Special Criminal Court

Published 27/02/2016 | 13:42

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Thomas 'Slab' Murphy. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

SINN Féin’s Martin McGuinness has lashed out at the decision to try Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy before the Special Criminal Court - just 24 hours after he was jailed for tax fraud.

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In extraordinary comments, Mr McGuinness said throughout the trial, Murphy and the people of South Armagh were subject to an unfair level of accusation.

“And I think it’s not lost on the electorate out there who watched the shenanigans that took place during the course of the election and how different decisions were made and I think those decisions were made to have an impact on the election and that is totally and absolutely undemocratic,” Mr McGuinness said.

He added: “Many people have been asking questions as to why Tom Murphy was brought before the Special Criminal Court, for basically failing to pay taxes allegedly on a part time wage.

“I think the level of accusation that was placed before, not just him, but the people of South Armagh, in the course of this case was absolutely deplorable.”

The North’s Deputy First Minister made the remarks as he arrived at the RDS count centre in Dublin City.

Asked whether he still believes Murphy is a ‘good republican’, Mr McGuinness said the Co Louth republican is launching an an appeal against the court’s decision.

And he singled out Independent TD Michael Lowry, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and former banker David Drumm in order to give examples where the Special Criminal Court was not used.

In the case of Mr Noonan, Mr McGuinness highlighted the fact that Fine Gael was found to have committed tax offences under his leadership.

“I think, whenever you look at, for example, Michael Lowry lost his case. Is he going to go before the Special Criminal Court, I think not.  I don’t think he should.

"David Drumm is coming back, maybe, from the United States of America, is he going to appear before the Special Criminal Court?

Tom Murphy wasn’t charged with being a member of the IRA.

Michael Noonan when he was party leader, the Fine Gael party failed to return their returns to the inland revenue, is Michael Noonan being brought before the Special Criminal Court. None of that happened.”

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