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Adams defends McGuinness's IRA past

The Sinn Féin president has been defending the party’s candidate for the Irish presidency.

Martin McGuinness
Martin McGuinness
Image: Press Association

MARTIN MCGUINNESS’S IRA past should not have any impact on how people vote for him in the presidential election, the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said.

Speaking to the Irish Voice in New York, Adams pointed to the example of Eamon De Valera’s membership of the organisation and said that there had been a “long lineage of people who were involved in our resistance to British rule.”

McGuinness, who was chosen as the Sinn Féin candidate last weekend, has come under scrutiny this week for his past associations with the IRA.

Today he told Newstalk that he never killed anyone when he was in the organisation in the 1970s amid fresh criticism of his record from government minister Phil Hogan and broadcaster Gay Byrne. Byrne told TV3 that he believed McGuinness was a “consistent liar”.

The deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, has previously said that he stands by his record as “a peacemaker”, later blaming ‘West Brit’ influences in the media and amongst the political parties who were trying “to muddy the waters” regarding his previous activity.

Supporting him today, Adams told the Irish Voice that now was the time for a “people’s president,” adding: “There was never a time when Ireland needed Republican politics, those core broad democratic values than at this time, Martin McGuinness embodies all of that.”

In full: TheJournal.ie’s Race for the Áras coverage >

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Hugh O'Connell

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