RTE News

McGuinness rejects McDowell's IRA claims

20 February 2005 15:39

Sinn Féin's Chief Negotiator, Martin McGuinness, has rejected claims that he, Gerry Adams and Martin Ferris are members of the IRA army council.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's This Week, Mr Mc Guinness said the minister's remarks were politically motivated and an attempt to criminalise Sinn Féin.

Earlier, the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell accused the men of being members of the council while taking part in a radio debate on Today FM.

He said there were seven members of the council and that the IRA was increasingly trying to get involved in legitimate businesses, especially the communications industry.

The Northern Ireland Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, has repeated his assertion that the IRA was behind the Northern Bank Robbery.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's This Week, Mr Orde also said that £50,000 sterling in new notes found at a country club in Belfast were planted by the provisional IRA.

Earlier, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, said that Sinn Féin has to recognise that Provisional criminality lies at the root of the current crisis in the peace process.

Mr Ahern insisted that robbery and money laundering have no place in Irish society.

In a statement, he warned that Sinn Féin had to assume their full responsibility to resolve the situation before the Government and others can respond.

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