Belfast Telegraph

'He fought for equality for everyone' - son of Martin McGuinness leads support after documentary revelations

There has been an outpouring of support for the late Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness after new revelations surrounding his role in the IRA appeared in a BBC documentary.

The Spotlight documentary includes never-before broadcast footage of the former Mid-Ulster MP showing children guns and at the preparation of a car bomb.

Producers of Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History have included unseen film from 1972 of an IRA bomb team putting the finishing touches to a lethal car bomb which later blew up in the centre of Londonderry.

Martin McGuinness is clearly seen walking at the back of the car before it sets off for Shipquay Street with its deadly cargo.

The documentary also includes footage of McGuinness, who admitted that he was once a senior figure in the IRA, in Londonderry sitting in a car handling a rifle and a revolver as children as young as eight peer through the open window.

Ahead of the airing of the documentary next week, Mr McGuinness's son Fiachra and a number of senior Sinn Fein politicians have responded on social media.

"Fought against injustices, fought for equality for everyone," Fiachra McGuinness wrote on Twitter.

Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill said that she was "immensely proud of Martin McGuinness and his contribution to our struggle and society".

"Martin was a champion of equality, justice and peace," she said.

"He continues to inspire many nationally and internationally.

"A dear friend and inspirational leader. I remember Martin with utmost pride."

Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd, who will challenge Mrs O'Neill for the Sinn Fein vice-presidency at the party's upcoming conference, said that "revelations and allegations about the past prove we had a past".

"Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley proved we can have a future together despite the past," he said.

Foyle MP Elisha McCallion said that Martin McGuinness was an "amazing man" who "never denied his past".

She said that he "fought his whole life for what he thought was right".

"He was my friend, a hero and an inspiration to thousands - myself included," Mrs McCallion said.

"He was a true leader and is sorely missed."

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson said that there was "no two Martin McGuinness's, there was no abrupt conversion".

"Martin fought against injustice and for equality all his adult life," she wrote.

"Proud of who he was and everything he represented."

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