McGuinness ‘must tell all he knows about Troubles deaths’

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness pictured in 1988
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness pictured in 1988

Martin McGuinness has been challenged to reveal everything he knows about Troubles-related deaths rather than selectively choosing to give evidence at certain inquiries.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said the Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister should “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” about the Provisional IRA in Londonderry to have any credibility.

Mr Campbell was commenting after the former IRA commander agreed to assist a legacy inquest examining the death of teenager Seamus Bradley.

Mr Bradley, 19, was shot and killed by a soldier from the Royal Scots Regiment in the Creggan area of Londonderry in 1972 during Operation Motorman - an Army attempt to gain control of republican areas in Belfast and Londonderry that had previously been considered no-go zones for the security forces.

Mr McGuinness has agreed to cooperate with the process and said he will assist in any way he can.

The republican leader indicated it will be up to the court to decide if he is to be called to give evidence in person, beyond his written statement.

He has been asked to provide information to the inquest about IRA activities in Londonderry at the time of Mr Bradley’s shooting.

The shooting in July 1972 is shrouded in controversy, as the IRA had allegedly stood down its operations at that time.

The death is the subject of one of 56 outstanding Troubles inquests yet to be heard in Northern Ireland.

High Court judge Lord Justice Weir is currently conducting a two-week review exercise to assess each case’s state of readiness.

The disclosure about Mr McGuinness emerged as Judge Weir was updated about the Bradley case in Belfast Laganside Court.

Mr McGuinness’s solicitor Padraig O Muirigh said: “Martin McGuinness has instructed me that he will cooperate with the coronial process and assist the Bradley family.

“He is at the discretion of the court as to what form that assistance takes.”

Responding to the news, Mr Campbell said the senior republican had often declared “what he didn’t do” but has not yet revealed what he did do while second-in-command of the Londonderry IRA.

“The Deputy First Minister has always been ready to offer an opinion on others’ roles in the Troubles but has been silent about his own role. Given this fact, any evidence that he provides in this latest appearance before a judge needs to be seriously questioned.

“There are many families across Northern Ireland with an empty chair. The victims of the Claudy bomb or the Enniskillen bomb would like to see McGuinness in a dock to tell all he knows about those atrocities,” he said.

“Martin McGuinness should provide full and complete disclosure. Anything less will be seen as a political stunt rather than remorse or a serious attempt to deal with the past.”