Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Martin McGuinness 'met with killer'

Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness

The family of slain Irish police officer Jerry McCabe last night insisted that Sinn Fein's presidential candidate Martin McGuinness met with one of McCabe's killers while the man was on the run.

Ann McCabe - widow of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, who was shot dead by the IRA - also said that Mr McGuinness knows the current whereabouts of two men who are still wanted for her husband's violent death and that he was not fit for the office of president.

However, Mr McGuinness last night denied that he ever met convicted killer Kevin Walsh while he was wanted by gardai in the aftermath of the shooting in Adare, Co Limerick, on June 7, 1996.

Paul Damery and Gerry Roche, who fled the country following the gun attack, are still wanted by gardai in connection with the incident.

Damery is believed to be in South America, while Roche, a former member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the political wing of the INLA, is understood to be in Spain.

On a visit to Limerick with Gay Mitchell yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the McCabe family deserved to know the truth.

"I haven't involved myself in the personalities in this election campaign at all," he said, "and I don't intend to comment on any personality except Gay Mitchell, but people are entitled to know the truth.

"But if any of the candidates in this election or anybody else who wants to stand by the profession of democratic politics knows anything about the whereabouts of the persons you referred to (Damery and Roche), they should bring it to the gardai."

Mr Kenny said it "was a matter for Mr McGuinness to answer" if he had any knowledge on where the two men are.

Speaking in Cashel, Mr McGuinness said there was "not a smidgen of truth" in the charge that he met Kevin Walsh or knew the current whereabouts of either Damery or Roche. He said he didn't expect that he could reassure Ann McCabe otherwise.

"My full sympathy goes to her. What happened to her and her family was totally unjustifiable, should never have happened. It was wrong and I unreservedly condemn it," Mr McGuinness said.

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