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Documentary links Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley to new Troubles-era bomb attacks

The revelations are made in a documentary about the Troubles to air next week.

Former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (R) and First Minister Ian Paisley (L)
Former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (R) and First Minister Ian Paisley (L)
Image: Albert Gonzalez/

NEW FOOTAGE HAS emerged which shows the deceased Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness in the presence of a number of people assembling a car bomb in 1972.

A new documentary about the Troubles to air on BBC Northern Ireland from next week also links the late DUP founder Ian Paisley to a UVF bombing in 1969.

Other footage unearthed by BBC Spotlight during the making of its ‘On the Troubles’ series shows McGuinness handling bullets and guns in front of young children at the start of the decades-long conflict.

During the documentary, film footage shows McGuinness, a former IRA commander and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from 2007 until 2017, in the presence of people assembling a car bomb.

Documentary makers noted the car’s licence plate, and found that the vehicle was used in an attack on Shipquay Street in Derry in 1972. Nobody was killed during the incident, but the bomb caused extensive damage.

Meanwhile, a former senior army officer told documentary makers that Paisley – who helped restore the power-sharing executive to Stormont with Paisley in 2007 – “financed” a UVF bombing in Kilkeel in 1969.

The attack targeted infrastructure, and was designed to destabilise the government of progressive Unionist Terence O’Neill, who granted concessions to the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and sought to forge stronger links with the Irish government, led at the time by Sean Lemass.

David Hancock said that police had shown him “evidence” that Paisley “had supplied the money which financed the explosion” in Kilkeel.

The editor of Spotlight, Jeremy Adams, told the BBC that the series, which contains new archive footage and interviews with around 100 people, uncovered “new findings” on the Troubles.

“The past has shaped our present and it’s vitally important that truths continue to be told,” he said.

The seven-part series will begin on BBC Northern Ireland at 8.30pm next Tuesday.

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