Belfast Telegraph

In his own words: 'McGuinness was in charge'

"I think that the army council had particular contacts with those in the security area which weren't even shared with me. We had contacts in the law offices of the state and contacts in the upper echelons of the guards. Take something like Feakle, the place was raided and they (the leadership) got away. Because a tip-off was received that the Special Branch were on their way to Feakle and that tip-off came from within the Garda."

"I have no doubt that actions of mine resulted in serious harm to people and worse, and I regret that. I very much regret it in view of the outcome."

"The IRA has disappeared into history having taken a position on how to achieve Irish unity which is identical to that of the British Government it fought against for 25 years, and that is not a good outcome."

"I was told my efforts to join were indications of my immature adventurism and that the IRA was not for the likes of middle-class lads like me. They wanted us to get our degrees and we would be assisted to get jobs in the media, trade unions and the public service."

"It was pretty clear to me that Martin (McGuinness) was the man in charge and everybody looked up to him, adults as well as young IRA volunteers. He was a very, very impressive individual."

"The IRA had got involved with tit-for-tat killings with loyalists, which was absolutely contrary to republican policy and was also politically stupid, because it gave the British the opportunity to portray the whole thing as a sectarian clash between Protestants and Catholics."

"Sinn Fein, quite simply, are Ireland's Bolsheviks. And I don't mean that in terms of its place on the left-right spectrum, for that is moveable. I mean it is a party whose unflinching focus is on achieving power."

"For much of its existence, Sinn Fein was a support group for the IRA, a junior and not terribly effective part of the republican movement. Though always controlled from a distance by the IRA, the IRA leadership decided in the late 1970s that the party would come under IRA control at every level."

"I left (the IRA) on the day of the Downing Street Declaration because... I was down at the An Phoblacht office with a lot of other people watching it. We expected certain things to be said. We expected in particular some sort of indication of a British interest in leaving Ireland. That didn't happen. Then a call came through from Belfast and the caller, who was Gerry Adams, said that people should settle down, that they could work with it and I thought 'right...' The gloom in the room evaporated and I thought 'right, I'm off...' and went home."

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