The Sinn Féin President and Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister have rejected accusations that they knew in advance about the Northern Bank robbery in 2004.

Allegations published on the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing website claim former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern suspected Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness had information about the IRA raid in December 2004.

The cables state that the Irish Government had evidence that both men were members of the IRA military command and would have had a deep knowledge of its operations.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland, Mr Adams said both he and Mr McGuinness have denied this before and they were doing so again this morning.

He said Mr Ahern made the allegation, but did not stand it up. He blamed Fianna Fáil's electoral ambition for what he described as a smear.

Mr Adams, who is due to stand in the Louth constituency in the next General Election, said he would leave it to the 'good sense' of the electorate to make up their minds.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern confirmed this afternoon that it was the Government's belief that Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness had prior knowledge of the raid.

Asked if that view has changed, the minister replied 'no'.

Based on intelligence received by the State, he said the Government believed that the raid was carried out by members of the IRA but added he did not know if it had been sanctioned by the IRA's Army Council.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said that most people believed the claims were true.

Meanwhile, a cable from then US ambassador James Kenny from Dublin also reveals that British security service MI5 offered to hand over secret files on the murder of Catholic solicitor Pat Finucane who was shot by loyalist gunmen in Belfast in 1989.

The revelations came ahead of today's meeting of the British-Irish Council in the Isle of Man.