Belfast Telegraph

Kevin McGuigan murder: Family challenge Sinn Fein to admit IRA is behind killing

By Rebecca Black

The daughter of murdered east Belfast man Kevin McGuigan has challenged Sinn Fein over his killing.

He was shot dead outside his home on Comber Court in the Short Strand area on Wednesday night in front of his wife Dolores.

Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey along with the rest of his party colleagues has insisted that the Provisional IRA was not responsible for the 53-year-old's murder.

Mr Maskey said he did not believe PIRA was involved in the murder and expressed concern about "unhelpful speculation".

Mr McGuigan's daughter Sarah-Jane took to Facebook to challenge the veteran republican.

"Alex Maskey wise up, even the dogs in the street know them scum IRA murdered my Daddy," she wrote.

"A good man and a good republican, there is no man could fill his boots and they know that."

Her brother Teddy supported her, saying he had "never seen truer words in my life".

He also thanked friends for their support at this difficult time for the family and spoke of their heartbreak.

"Our lives will never be the same without you daddy, you devoted your life to us all especially your best friend my mummy and your six grand kids, don't know how we're going to get through this," he posted.

Mr McGuigan leaves behind nine children and six grandchildren. He was set to become a grandfather again later this year.

First Minister Peter Robinson has warned there will be political repercussions if it is established that the PIRA was involved in the murder.

TUV leader Jim Allister launched a bitter attack on Mr Robinson over his response to the shooting. Mr Allister accused the DUP leader of not wanting to blame the IRA on the murder because of political ramifications.

He claimed: "Peter Robinson's comments following the murder of Kevin McGuigan have a familiar ring to them because we've heard it all before", referring to the murder of Paul Quinn in south Armagh in 2007.

Mr Quinn (21) was beaten to death by a gang, believed to be members of the IRA. Mr Allister added: "Who believes that the murder of Kevin McGuigan will seriously impact the political process any more than Paul Quinn's murder made any difference? The process will again trump truth and justice. Who now worries about justice for Robert McCartney before partnership with Sinn Fein could be considered, as the DUP once claimed?

"Empty rhetoric is par for the course when it comes to pro-Agreement unionism and IRA murder. No one seriously believes that it will be any different this time round."

There has been intense speculation that the killing is linked to the murder of IRA veteran Jock Davison three months ago. However, Mr McGuigan's mother Margaret said her son played no part in it. Police described Mr McGuigan's murder as "ruthless and premeditated".

Last night, a 44-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman in police custody were released unconditionally. A number of searches have also been carried out, including in several homes in the Short Strand area, and a number of cars on Comber Court were removed.

In 1986, Mr McGuigan was jailed for 12 years along with Ardoyne republican Martin Meehan for abducting a British soldier.

It is understood he was subjected to a punishment shooting a number of years ago which was ordered by Jock Davison.

Belfast Telegraph


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