Belfast Telegraph

State papers: Ex-Alliance leader Alderdice said Martin McGuinness was 'evil man'

Views: Lord Alderdice
Views: Lord Alderdice

By David O'Dornan

Former Alliance Party leader John [now Lord] Alderdice believed in 1996 that Gerry Adams "had genuinely put violence behind him" - but the same could not be said for "evil" Martin McGuinness.

The remarks about the former Sinn Fein leader and his late deputy are noted in a British Embassy Dublin file which has been declassified today at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

In a memo of a discussion between the British Ambassador to Dublin, Veronica Sutherland, and the then Dr Alderdice on April 23, 1996, Sutherland stated that the Alliance leader told her "that he thought Adams had genuinely put violence behind him and wanted a settlement".

"He did not think this applied to Martin McGuinness whom he regarded as an evil man," she continued.

The diplomat also wrote that Dr Alderdice had told her that former IRA member and later Sinn Fein official "Rita O'Hare had also put her past behind her, and had apologised to him in tears over Sinn Fein's failure to sign up to consent in the Dublin Forum".

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