McGuinness Criticised By Families of IRA Victims

A daughter of murdered Jean McConville has criticised the participation of Sinn Fèin’s Martin McGuinness in the Presidential election.

McConville was the mother of ten who was abducted by the IRA in Belfast in 1972 and shot dead. Her body was found 31 years later in 2003 by a passer-by on a Co Louth beach.

Speaking at her home in Co Down, Helen McKendry said: “I don’t think Martin McGuinness should be standing. He should be telling the truth to victims’ families, the whole truth.”

Her husband, Seamus McKendry, also criticised the Derry native: “I think the office of President has too much prestige for any Sinn Féiner to be contesting it.”

The McKendrys demonstrated against Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams when he ran as a Dáil candidate in Co Louth during the last general election.

Elsewhere, the family of Tom Oliver who was kidnapped and killed by the IRA in July 1991 has attacked McGuinness over his failure to say that Mr Oliver was murdered.

 McGuinness said he would not disagree with the families of Oliver or McConville when they described the deaths as murder, despite failing to admit that were actually murdered.

Oliver was a farmer who was kidnapped and killed by the IRA, who believed he was a Garda informer, a claim staunchly denied by his family.

Yesterday evening the son of Mr Oliver, Eugene Oliver, issued a statement via Independent candidate Sean Gallagher`s campaign team on behalf of the family.

In it Eugene Oliver said he was really upset when he heard Mr McGuinness warn another candidate (Gallagher) on The Frontline to tell the truth.

“What shallow hypocrisy from a man who has dined out on weasel words for most of his career,” the statement said.

Mr Oliver said he wanted Mr McGuinness to “stop hiding behind weasel words” and admit that his father and Mrs McConville were murdered by the IRA, which McGuinness was a leading member of.

The statement went on to say that everyone saw the “empty words” of Mr McGuinness on The Frontline programme when he refused to describe their deaths as murder.

“Even at this late stage, with just days to go to polling, he could not find it in his heart to admit my father, along with other innocent people, were murdered,” Mr Oliver said.

“He was gunned down in cold blood and even twenty years after, at this remove my family are entitled to finally and unequivocally hear the words ‘murder’ uttered from his lips,” the statement adds.

 

McGuinness Has No Knowledge of Callers Identity

 

Martin McGuinness said he does not know anything about the man who telephoned him before the debate claiming that he gave Mr Gallagher a cheque for €5,000 at a Fianna Fáil event in a Dundalk hotel in 2008 or 2009.

The Sinn Fèin candidate said he does not know whether ”the envelope was white or brown, but it is the brown envelope culture that destroyed the Irish people’s economy”.

He said what we saw on the programme from Mr Gallagher was ”a very clear admission” that what he had said was true. The Cavan native originally denied the claims but was forced to come clean after it was revealed via McGuinness` Twitter that Sinn Fèin would identify the man involved.

Mr McGuinness said the man who made the phone call has not indicated to him whether or not he would make a public statement on the matter. Gallagher had stated that the man involved was a fuel smuggler who has in very strong links to Sinn Fèin leader Gerry Adams.

Asked whether the revelations during the debate had damaged him, Mr Gallagher said that since he became a frontrunner in this campaign, he well expected, like everyone else, that there would be ”lots of these types of attacks”. He did not take any further questions.

Gallagher`s credibility has become tarnished after these revelations and the race to become president has been blown wide open once again.

Gallagher Embroiled In New Controversy

 

The final TV debate of the Presidential election campaign took place on RTÉ’s The Frontline last night as all candidates made a final push for votes ahead of Thursday’s poll.

The debate was marked by attacks on Independent candidate Sean Gallagher, with Martin McGuinness claiming he had been involved in collecting a sizeable cheque for Fianna Fáil.

Mr Gallagher was under pressure on a number of occasions last night.

He struggled to explain the circumstances of an irregular company loan, which he says was lodged to the wrong account.

But Mr McGuinness landed a severe blow to the Cavan native`s campaign when he claimed the Independent candidate had collected a €5,000 cheque destined for Fianna Fáil from an individual in Dundalk, Co Louth, two years ago.

Mr Gallagher initially said he had no recollection but then claimed the man in question was a fuel smuggler with links to Sinn Fèin leader Gerry Adams, before conceding there may have been an envelope handed over.