McGuinness confronted over IRA deaths
Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness has been confronted by the son of an Irish soldier killed by the IRA, while on the campaign trail in Athlone, Co Westmeath.
David Kelly told Mr McGuinness his father Patrick, 35, was shot dead along with trainee garda Gary Sheehan, 23, at Derrada woods near Ballinamore, Co Leitrim during the rescue of kidnapped supermarket tycoon Don Tidey in 1983.
No-one was ever prosecuted in connection with the murders.
“I want justice for my father,” Mr Kelly told Mr McGuinness while clutching a picture of Private Kelly.
“I believe that you know the names of the killers of my father and I want you tell me who they are.”
“He (my father) was loyal to the Irish Republic and I’m loyal to him as a son, and I’m going to get justice for him,” he said.
Mr McGuinness strongly denied knowing the identity of the killers.
The Sinn Féin candidate said he had worked for years to bring peace to Northern Ireland and said he sympathised with Mr Kelly and his family.
“I don’t know who was responsible for the killing of your father but I fully and absolutely sympathise with you”, he told Mr Kelly.
“I have been at the heart of a very important peace process in the North over the last 20 years which has brought conflict, violence and death to an end and I’m going to continue with that work because that’s the work of peace.”
“This is in the past,” he added, while pointing at the picture of Private Kelly.
“I want truth now, today,” Mr Kelly insisted.
“I appreciate that. I understand that, I fully sympathise with you,” Mr McGuinness replied.
Later, Mr Kelly said he will set up a website and launch a campaign for justice for both his father and Mr Sheehan, and would follow Mr McGuinness around the country if he has to.
Mr McGuinness will go head to head with David Norris, Dana Rosemary Scallon, Gay Mitchell, Michael D Higgins, Mary Davis and Sean Gallagher when the Republic goes to the polls on 27 October.
The former IRA commander, who says he left the organisation in 1974, has been repeatedly asked questions about his paramilitary past during the campaign.


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