Republican News · Thursday 13 April 2000

[An Phoblacht]

McGuinness rubbishes Bloody Sunday slur


attempt by the British military to divert attention away from the fact that British paratroopers killed 14 innocent civilians in Derry in 1972, was how Sinn Féin Assembly member Martin McGuinness dismissed as nonsense the allegation that he may have fired the first shot on Bloody Sunday.

The allegation centres on a note from British Intelligence, allegedly part of a debriefing statement by an informer, codenamed ``Infliction'', which was sent from the Hague in 1984. In the statement, the alleged informer claims that during a conversation with him, McGuinness had said he had fired the shot which precipitated the fatal events of January 1972. McGuinness says this is a lie.

Commenting on the allegations against him, Martin McGuinness said: ``This is a pathetic fabrication. If this is the best that the British Military can do they are going to have a miserable time in Derry Guildhall for the next two years.''

The controversy seems set to continue with the authenticity of a number of other alleged statements being contested by those to whom they have been attributed. A statement concerning Martin McGuinness attributed to Ivan Cooper, which has allegedly been in the Sunday Times archive since 1972, has been vigorously denied by Cooper. He described the statement which had been attributed to him as ``a poisonous and disturbing account, which smacks of British security forces operating''.

In a second mysterious statement from the Sunday Times archive, Billy Gillespie is reported as saying that he saw a gunman in the Rossville flats. In a sworn statement to Saville, Gillespie has refuted ever making such a statement.

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