McGuinness dismisses biography claims

 

Sinn Féin's Mr Martin McGuinness today dismissed as "a load of rubbish" a new biography of him which claims he distributed blast bombs to young IRA members ahead of the Bloody Sunday march in Derry where 14 people were shot dead by paratroopers.

Martin McGuinness: From Guns to Government

Written by Sunday TimesNorthern Ireland Editor Mr Liam Clarke and his wife Ms Kathryn Johnston, the book claims Mr McGuinness defied IRA orders on the night before Bloody Sunday that there should be no trouble at the march, by handing out blast bombs to eight teenagers in the IRA's youth wing Fianna.

Mr McGuinness, who has admitted being the IRA's number two in Derry on Bloody Sunday in 1972, hurriedly ordered the retrieval of the bombs and their return to a lock-up garage where he had distributed them when he saw the size of the massive army build up ahead of the march, said they book.

It claimed that one youth, Gerald Donaghy, 17, could not be contacted to return his two bombs and that he was later shot dead by soldiers.

The IRA has always claimed none of its members were killed on Bloody Sunday.

Mr McGuinness is due to be called as a witness at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in Derry's Guildhall and has already made an official statement.

The book, being serialised in the Sunday Timeshas been branded by Mr McGuiness as "a load of rubbish" and dismissed it as an attempt to return to the "failed policy of demonising the Sinn FA[C]ein leadership".

Mr McGuinness added: "My focus and the focus of the Sinn Féin leadership is on building peace in Ireland, not responding to this nonsense."

Sinn FA[C]ein chairman Mr Mitchel McLaughlin said the book was an attempt to "undermine and undervalue the crucial role Martin McGuinness has played in building the Irish Peace Process".

PA