Wednesday 22 November 2017

Candidate denies he knows whereabouts of wanted men

Barry Duggan and Eimear Ni Bhraonain

THE family of slain Det Garda Jerry McCabe last night insisted that Sinn Fein's presidential candidate Martin McGuinness met with one of McCabe's killers who was on the run.

Ann McCabe -- widow of Det Garda McCabe, who was shot dead by the IRA in Adare, Co Limerick -- also said that Mr McGuinness knew the whereabouts of two men who are wanted for her husband's violent death and that he was not fit for the office of president.

However, Mr McGuinness last night denied that he had ever met convicted killer Kevin Walsh while he was wanted by gardai in the aftermath of the shooting on June 7, 1996.

Paul Damery and Gerry Roche, who fled the country after the attack, are still wanted by gardai. Damery is believed to be in South America, while Roche is understood to be in Spain.

On a visit to Limerick with Gay Mitchell yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the McCabe family deserved to know the truth.

"If any of the candidates in this election or anybody else who wants to stand by the profession of democratic politics knows anything about the whereabouts of the persons you referred to (Damery and Roche), they should bring it to the gardai," he said.

Mr Kenny added that it "was a matter for Mr McGuinness to answer" if he had any knowledge of where the two men are.

However, speaking in Cashel, Co Tipperary, Mr McGuinness said there was "not a smidgen of truth" in the charge that he met Kevin Walsh or knew the current whereabouts of either Damery or Roche.

Fingerprints

"My full sympathy goes to her. What happened to her and her family was totally unjustifiable, should never have happened.

"It was wrong and I unreservedly condemn it," Mr McGuinness said.

The two men are wanted for questioning over the murder of Det Garda McCabe.

Officers want to question them about forensic evidence found by the gardai after the murder.

However, they cannot be extradited. Warrants for their extradition can only be issued if a court is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to support a criminal charge.

At the time that he disappeared, Roche, a former member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the political wing of the INLA, was living in Shannon, Co Clare.

He had previously lived in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

Damery is from Cobh, Co Cork. After he left the country, he turned up in Nicaragua in central America, where he worked with an aid agency.

He later claimed that he had returned home several times to visit his family here without being arrested by gardai.

Irish Independent

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