Sinn Féin chief negotiator Martin McGuinness has identified one of the British officials in its “Northern Ireland Office” he says in involved in covert attempts to undermine republicans.
He named Joe Pilling, Permanent Secretary to the British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy, citing comments he made in the US. Speaking to reporters, Mr McGuinness said Pilling travelled frequently to the US.
“Nobody here even knows he exists. I have decided to bring his name into the public domain today because Joe Pilling in the United States of America in October of last year said that the British government’s biggest concern was that Sinn Féin would become the largest political party in the north and that their goal was to prevent this.
“Worryingly also, yesterday, Paul Murphy the secretary of state, who throws the snowballs that Mr Pilling makes, said at a private meeting in Boston, and I quote, that ‘Sinn Féin’s vote is only on loan. Once people in the north see what Sinn Féin is really about it will disappear and it will be the same in the south’.
“This is the NIO line of the last 30 years, it is a position of failure and it is evidence of a British system that seeks the defeat of Irish republicanism.”