McGuinness refutes Bloody Sunday allegations
McGuinness refutes Bloody Sunday allegations

Sinn Fein negotiator Martin Mc Guinness has again refuted allegations regarding IRA activity on Bloody Sunday following claims directed towards him personally.

The statement of Paddy Ward contains a series of highly controversial allegations against Mr McGuinness who, on Bloody Sunday in January 1972, was second-in-command of the IRA in Derry.

Mr Ward, a former INLA republican paramilitary who was accused by that organisation of being an informer, has claimed that Mr McGuinness used the cover of the Bloody Sunday march to plan a nail-bomb attack in the city centre.

In a statemetn to the Bllody Sunday Inquiry, Mr Ward states that Mr McGuinness played a central role in a bombing operation which was called off at the last minute because British Crown forces prevented the civil rights marchers from entering the city centre on the day.

He alleges Mr McGuinness arranged for the supply of 16 detonators for the nail-bombs just hours before the march and that he was at an IRA meeting where they were distributed to IRA Volunteers.

Although Ward claims two of the nail-bombs were given to Bloody Sunday victim Gerry Donaghy, he has also said that they were not among the four which British forces later claimed were found on Donaghy's body, which Ward added were of a different type.

Because of the nature of Mr Ward's allegations, Mr McGuinness held a meeting with his legal adviser in Derry on Tuesday and is preparing to make a fresh statement to the inquiry rebutting the allegations. His legal adviser described the allegations as ``ridiculous'' and added: ``Mr McGuinness will defend himself against these ridiculous accusations when Mr Ward presents himself at the inquiry.''

Mr McGuiness dismissed the allegations which he suggested were being made by an individual who has worked for the British Intelligence Services.

``Whether we are dealing with [Sunday Times journalist] Liam Clarke's version of Paddy Ward's claims or the most recent version from Ward himself they are absolute rubbish,'' he said.

``I have given extensive co-operation to the Inquiry making a number of submissions in regard to allegations coming from different British government sources and their agents. My primary motivation for co-operating with the Inquiry has always been to assist the Bloody Sunday families to uncover the truth about how and why their loved ones were murdered on that day. I will continue in my efforts to assist this quest.

``I will deal with these allegations robustly through my legal representatives when Mr Ward presents himself to the Inquiry. We will want to know if Mr Ward was a paid agent of any branch of British Intelligence Services? We have also requested a copy of the tapes of Liam Clarke's interviews with Mr Ward that Clarke now claims to have even though he has not submitted them to Saville.''

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