McGuigan crisis is ‘fake’, says Pearse Doherty

Sinn Féin TD says controversy created by parties with an eye on the elections

Pearse Doherty also criticised comments by the Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin. Photograph: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Pearse Doherty also criticised comments by the Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin. Photograph: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

 

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has dismissed the controversy over the IRA’s alleged involvement in the killing of Kevin McGuigan as a “fake crisis” created by parties with an eye on the elections.

On Thursday, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said if Sinn Féin did not deal with the situation, his party would move to have the party excluded from the Northern Ireland Executive.

Speaking in Dublin, Mr Doherty rejected Mr Dodds’s comments.

“There is no basis on looking for the exclusion of Sinn Féin. Obviously there is an internal debate within unionism, each one trying to outmanoeuvre the other, but there are a lot more serious issues that need to be dealt with in terms of the Executive,” the Donegal TD said.

“It all needs to be resolved. Powersharing is a thing that is here to stay.”

Mr Doherty also criticised comments by the Fianna Fáil leader. “Micheál Martin was minister for foreign affairs at a time when we were negotiating the policing and justice powers; none of these issues were raised by him. Yet he goes on to make outlandish claims that the IRA . . . not only does their structure still exist, but that they are involved in racketeering, criminality; which the PSNI say themselves is simply untrue.”

The party’s finance spokesman said he was confident the structures of the IRA had gone away.

Mr Doherty said there were members of the IRA who are still in contact with each other but insisted the organisation had been stood down.

“Former volunteers still exist, they didn’t all pass away, they didn’t all leave the island, they are still there involved in Sinn Féin, some of them are involved in the GAA, some of them are involved in community groups, some are getting on with their lives.

“I am sure on occasion they sit down and have a drink or meet at an event but is that a meeting of the IRA? No it is not. The IRA have gone, they have left the stage, they have disbanded, they have put the weapons out of use and that happened 10 years ago.”