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Sunday 21 January 2018

Martin McGuinness met the killer of my husband in an IRA safe house

Sinn Fein's presidential candidate Martin McGuinness shakes hands with the former Tipperary hurler Pat Fox while
canvassing voters on the campaign trail in Cashel, Co Tipperary yesterday
Sinn Fein's presidential candidate Martin McGuinness shakes hands with the former Tipperary hurler Pat Fox while canvassing voters on the campaign trail in Cashel, Co Tipperary yesterday

WHEN Kevin Walsh, the ringleader of the Sinn Fein/IRA volunteers convicted of killing my husband, Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, in Adare on June 7, 1996, was released from Castlerea Prison, our family attempted to move on as best we could with our lives.

Since that morning when the last of the killers was freed into the waiting arms of Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris, we have refrained from any public comment concerning the political affairs of the State my husband died defending from the terror gangs of the Provisional IRA.

Now we feel we must break that silence to raise our concerns about the course of the current presidential election campaign and specifically address matters that have arisen in the public domain regarding the knowledge and activities of Martin McGuinness in relation to those who perpetrated the murder of my husband and those individuals whom An Garda Siochana are still seeking to interview about that cowardly crime.

In doing so, we wish to endorse the courageous interventions of the Kelly, Hand, Stack and Clerkin families, who still -- like us -- seek to have all of the IRA murderers involved in the killing of their loved ones brought to justice.

We know that the Garda Siochana believe that Martin McGuinness visited Kevin Walsh while he was hiding in a safe house in Co Cavan. For what purpose did Mr McGuinness meet the killer of Jerry McCabe?

Why did he not prevail upon Mr Walsh to hand himself in? Why did he fail to alert An Garda Siochana about the whereabouts of the man who was at the top of the most wanted list in this Republic?

The gardai believe that Mr McGuinness was a senior member of the Provisional IRA's Army Council for many years. This sinister body he regards as the legitimate government of Ireland. This loyalty to a secret illegal army, presumably, was more important to Mr McGuinness than helping An Garda Siochana to solve a vicious murder.

It is a loyalty that we believe is incompatible with the office of President of Ireland.

As a senior IRA man, Mr McGuinness is aware that two members of the IRA are still being sought for the murder of Jerry McCabe.

As David Kelly said last week in Athlone: "He knows who the killers of Recruit Garda Gary Sheehan and Private Paddy Kelly are."

We believe that he also knows the current whereabouts of Paul Damery and Gerry Roche, who have been on the wanted list by An Garda Siochana since June 1996.

Mr McGuinness and his colleagues in Sinn Fein organised a vigorous campaign for the early release of the prisoners who killed Jerry McCabe and he stated that Detective Garda McCabe's killers were "entitled to their freedom".

The Irish people are being asked to choose a Head of State next week. A vote for Martin McGuinness is a vote for a man who refuses to assist the security forces of this Republic with its investigations into the most serious crimes committed against servants of the State. We don't believe this is an issue that can be ignored and brushed aside in the interests of 'peace'.

We call on all other candidates seeking the office of president to demand from Mr McGuinness that he co-operate with the police into its ongoing inquiries into the terrorist crimes that claimed the lives of servants of this Republic.

This election is as much about the moral duties of those who seek high office as it is about their vision for the presidency and Ireland's future.

We want to move on and resume what passes for a normal life without a father and husband and brother.

We can't move on if Mr McGuinness assumes that he can aspire to the symbolic status of first citizen without first discharging the most basic responsibility of any citizen. If Martin McGuinness cannot or will not assist the authorities with its investigations into the murders of police officers, soldiers and prison officers, how can we expect the rule of law to prevail under his presidency?

This is a moment of truth for all of us.

Martin McGuinness owes every voter the truth and his opponents should unequivocally demand that he come clean.

Otherwise, we will have one law for members of Sinn Fein/IRA and another law for the rest of us.

In such a scenario, should Mr McGuinness prevail, the constitutional integrity of the democratic institutions of the State will be grievously undermined.

We are of the opinion that the actions and statements of Mr McGuinness do not make him a suitable candidate for the office of President of Ireland.

•This is the full text of the statement released by the McCabe family yesterday.

Irish Independent

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