Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness has for the first time raised the possibility of IRA members giving an account of their activities if a truth inquiry into the Troubles were established.

Mr McGuinness, who is Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, is under scrutiny this week for his dealings with Fr James Chesney, who was identified by a recent Policing Ombudsman's report, as a suspect in the Claudy bombing.

Fr Chesney was moved at the request of the RUC and the Northern Ireland Office after the bombing took place. He was moved across the border to Co Donegal where he died eight years later.

The Catholic Church facilitated the move.

Yesterday, Mr McGuinness said he went to visit Fr Chesney before he died but said IRA activities or the Claudy bombing were not discussed.

In 2002, Mr McGuinnesss said he had never met Fr Chesney.

The controversy raises the issue of what former IRA members like Mr McGuinness are prepared to tell about their past.

Mr McGuinness spoke about Sinn Fein's support for the idea of an International Truth Commission to examine the Troubles.

Asked whether IRA members would be prepared to change their policy, he said 'let us go to such a body and let us see what happens.'