Wednesday 17 January 2018

Soldier's son did us all a favour in bringing up past

Martin McGuinness's stonewalling of David Kelly tells us more than any debate or interview ever will, writes Eamon Keane

"I want justice for my father. I believe you know the names of the killers of my father. You were on the Army Council of the IRA'' -- David Kelly to Martin McGuinness

MARTIN McGUINNESS stared straight ahead, eyes narrowed. David Kelly, the son of the Army man killed when the IRA kidnapped Don Tidey in Ballinamore in 1983, was targeting him. "I accuse you today. I don't believe you . . . you're a liar." McGuinness kept his gaze straight ahead. "I'm not a liar, I'm not a liar . . . I sympathise with you . . . this is in the past."

That confrontation in a shopping mall in Athlone revealed more about Martin McGuinness than any interview or debate ever will. McGuinness's face and body stonewalled David Kelly. Impassive, impenetrable. Martin McGuinness could have said the Ballinamore incident wasn't meant to be a murder, that it went wrong that day, unlike some of the other cold-blooded murders. But Martin couldn't have said that because, of course, he was never on the IRA Army council.

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