Friday 19 January 2018

McGuinness drawn into row over Enniskillen bombing

Fionnan Sheahan, Breda Heffernan and Gerard Cunningham

Sinn Fein presidential candidate Martin McGuinness was dragged back into controversies over three IRA atrocities yesterday.

But Mr McGuinness continued to insist he left the IRA in 1974 and was never involved in the leadership of the Provisionals. "I was never in the Army Council," he said.

The Northern Ireland deputy first minister was called on to provide information on the murder of two RUC officers; he was challenged to reveal any knowledge of the Enniskillen bombing; and he admitted to knowing details surrounding the death of an informer.

A solicitor for the family of the most senior RUC officer killed by the IRA during the Troubles has called on Mr McGuinness to provide any information he has to the Smithwick Tribunal.

The tribunal was set up to examine claims that a leak from within the gardai led to the IRA ambush in which RUC chief superintendent Harry Breen and superintendent Bob Buchanan were killed on March 20, 1989.

The Sinn Fein chief negotiator said last night he had no knowledge of the circumstances of the south Armagh killing but would give evidence if called upon.

Mr McGuinness was also challenged by Northern Ireland's trade and industry minister Arlene Foster to reveal what she claims he knows about the Enniskillen bomb atrocity, which killed 11 people.

Mr McGuinness also admitted to knowing details about the death of IRA informer Frank Hegarty.

He has repeatedly denied luring Mr Hegarty back to Derry to his death in 1986.

Mr McGuinness said yesterday he could "go into great detail about what happened" but this would cause hurt to Mr Hegarty's family.

Irish Independent

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