'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."
I am immensely proud of Martin McGuinness & his contribution to our struggle & society.— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) September 6, 2019
Martin was a champion of equality, justice & peace.
He continues to inspire many nationally & internationally.
A dear friend & inspirational leader. I remember Martin with utmost pride pic.twitter.com/MOpMeBLAIh
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.
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. pic.twitter.com/vOK2R33hwh— John O' Dowd (@JohnODowdSF) September 6, 2019
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."
Martin Mc Guinness never denied his past. He was an amazing man who fought his whole life for what he thought was right. He was my friend, a hero and an inspiration to thousands - myself included. He was a true leader and is sorely missed. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/roxQ5ATg8y— Elisha McCallion MP (@ElishaMcC_SF) September 6, 2019
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."
There were no two Martin Mc Guinness’s - there was no abrupt conversion!— MEP Martina Anderson (@M_AndersonSF) September 6, 2019
Martin fought again injustice & for equality all of his adult life.
Proud of who he was and everything he represented #ProudofMartin pic.twitter.com/AdvOZ9RRR3
Belfast Telegraph Digital