Politicians demand the truth from McGuinness (NewsLetter)

BOTH unionist and nationalist politicians have rounded on Martin McGuinness, demanding that he tell the truth about the Claudy bombings.

The Deputy First Minister said the attack was “wrong” and the families of the nine victims “deserved the truth”.

But the DUP’s Gregory Campbell said it was Mr McGuinness who should step forward and tell what he remembers from his time as an IRA commander in 1972. “No one would disagree with [McGuinness’] sentiments that it was an appalling and indefensible act,” he said.

Mr Campbell said there was no mention of whether Mr McGuinness had played a role in the atrocity or “indeed there still is not even a direct admission that it was the Provisional IRA who carried it out”.

UUP justice spokesman Tom Elliott claimed Mr McGuinness had used the anniversary to rewrite history.

“To use the anniversary of what happened at Claudy as a means to attempt to revise history is shocking and certainly insensitive to victims’ families,” he said.

“The Ulster Unionist Party will continue to oppose Sinn Fein’s predictable and thinly veiled attempts to rewrite the role of the State throughout the IRA’s terrorist campaign.”

TUV leader Jim Allister said: “Having admitted he lied over knowing Chesney, let McGuinness now tell all he knows about Claudy … if that happens the victims of IRA violence will treat his comments about Claudy being “indefensible and appalling” with the utter contempt they deserve.”

He added: “The 40th anniversary of this bombing causes us to remember again just why McGuinness is so unfit for office. Shame on those unionists who helped elevate him to such a position!”

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell and East Derry MLA John Dallat both called on Mr McGuinness to tell the truth.

“The victims of the Claudy bombings deserve answers, they deserve the truth. But the only way in which Martin McGuinness can be credible on the truth is if he tells it,” said Mr McDonnell.

“Victims and survivors across our island are still hurting deeply from the past and are equal in their desire for truth and justice.”

And Mr Dallat added: “The IRA leadership have tried for 40 years to make the scandal of Claudy go away and they have failed. The call for the truth to be told about Claudy is stronger now than it has been for many years.”


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