Martin McGuinness questioned on IRA role

Thursday 22 September 2011 22.01
McGuinness would not mention what he did in the IRA on a daily basis
McGuinness would not mention what he did in the IRA on a daily basis

Sinn Féin Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness has said he did not kill or shoot anybody while he was a member of the IRA between 1970 and 1974 - but he would not say if he had shot at anybody during that time.

Speaking on local radio in Cork, Mr McGuinness said he would not say what role he played in the IRA in Derry in the early 1970s because it would leave him open to charges that he was being boastful.

He said he was not prepared to get into what he had done in the IRA on a daily basis and was asking people to judge him "in the round".

When it was put to him that he was saying he did not use guns during his time in the IRA, Mr McGuinness said he was not saying that and he would not divest himself of his responsibility while he was in the IRA.

He repeated his charge that there were people who were totally hostile to what he represented, and this included "a small minority" of journalists.

Mr McGuinness said he was very satisfied that the foundation stones he had laid in Northern Ireland over the past five years with Peter Robinson and Ian Paisley would go from strength to strength, and he said he believed the IRA Army Council no longer existed.

In a text poll run by the radio station, Cork 96FM, this morning, Mr McGuinness emerged with 61% support, followed by David Norris on 15%. All other candidates came in on single figures.