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McGuinness willing to meet family of IRA victim who removed plaque from Ard Fheis venue

Speaking at the Wexford Opera House last night, the Sinn Féin MLA said he wasn’t aware the family of garda Seamus Quaid had requested a plaque be taken down from display at the venue.

Martin McGuinness at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis last night.
Martin McGuinness at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis last night.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

MARTIN MCGUINNESS HAS said he is willing to meet the family of a detective garda who was killed by the IRA after they removed a memorial plaque from the Wexford Opera House where Sinn Féin’s Ard Fheis is taking place this weekend.

Speaking to reporters in Wexford last night, the North’s First Minister said he was not aware that the family of detective garda Seamus Quaid had requested the plaque be taken down from display at the venue.

“Obviously if the family wish to speak to us we’d be more than willing to have that conversation,” he said.

On October 13, 1980, Quaid was investigating bank robberies in Callan, Co Kilkenny, when he stopped a van at Cleariestown, Co Wexford, being driven by a known member of the Provisional IRA.

The van was searched and found to contain explosives, leading the driver to open fire. Shots were exchanged and Quaid sustained fatal injuries.

McGuinness said that he “absolutely” would apologises to the family, but said he wasn’t aware that the plaque had been taken down.

“I wasn’t aware of those issues. But obviously given the fact that you have now pointed them out to me it’s very important to point out that the IRA, during the course of what was an incredible peace process, apologised to all innocent victims. Garda Quaid was an innocent victim,” he said.

“So it’s absolutely appropriate that Republicans should apologise for what happened to him and apologise directly to his family.”

  • Follow @oconnellhugh for updates from the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis.

Read: ‘Phil Hogan is the Bart Simpson of Irish politics’: Sinn Féin debates economy, peace process

Read all of TheJournal.ie’s coverage of the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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