IrishExaminer.com: McGuinness condemns McCartney killers

McGuinness condemns McCartney killers

25 February 2005
By Dan Collins

SINN FÉIN’S chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, last night denounced those behind the murder of Robert McCartney.

“I do not want to be associated with anyone who was in any way involved in the killing,” he said.

However, he stressed that mistrust between the Nationalist community in Northern Ireland and the PSNI was a significant factor in the unsolved murder.

He said the party was “in total and absolute sympathy” with the family of the dead Belfast man.

“We have made it absolutely clear that this was a deplorable murder and that those responsible have no place in republicanism.”

He appealed to the Short Strand community in Belfast “not to hold back any information they might have” with regard to the killing and removal of evidence at the crime scene.

“Now, who do they give information to? Some people might decide to give that information to the PSNI, that’s a matter for themselves. I don’t have any confidence in the PSNI.

“These people have bugged the cars I travel in, they have bugged the very offices that I work out of and of course they bugged my home phone ... how can I have confidence in the PSNI?”

Mr McGuinness said the IRA had made “very powerful contributions” to the search for peace. Those who portray the IRA as “the problem” in the peace process were making a big mistake, he said.

Sinn Féin will advance its position in forthcoming elections in the North after which Mr McGuinness predicted a return to the negotiating table by all sides.

“We are not going to shirk away from the difficult challenges which are ahead,” he said. Those challenges would also have to be faced by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the DUP, he said. Mr McGuinness reacted angrily to recent comments by Justice Minister Michael McDowell, which he said were part of a co-ordinated campaign of vilification by those who feel threatened by Sinn Féin. “He calls himself the Minister for Justice, but he is really the minister for smears,” he said.

Mr McGuinness was in Cork last night to attend a party fundraising event at Cork Greyhound Track.

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