he was told by British and Irish intelligence sources..

Yesterday Mick noted tonight’s investigation by journalist Peter Taylor of the Provisional IRA bombing of a Remembrance Sunday service in Enniskillen in November 1987. The Irish Times picks up the story here [subs req]

Taylor reports he was told by British and Irish intelligence sources that Mr McGuinness was the leading figure on the IRA’s Northern Command at the time of the Enniskillen bombing, in which 11 Protestant civilians were killed. Intelligence reports also indicated, according to the programme, that three days before the attack, Mr McGuinness, while accompanied by three IRA members from the South, was stopped by gardaí on the Donegal border. “The subsequent intelligence assessment was that McGuinness was going to be briefed on the Remembrance Day attacks.” The programme also reports that in the hours after the bombing Mr McGuinness was recorded leaving Belfast to travel to Fermanagh to meet members of the local IRA to find out what went wrong, and that he subsequently met the head of the IRA’s Donegal operation.

And, as does the Belfast Telegraph here, the Irish Times’ Gerry Moriarty notes the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister’s pre-broadcast denial

Mr McGuinness yesterday described the claims as “completely false”. He said the allegation that he was linked to IRA Northern Command at the time of the Enniskillen bombing was “a securocrat fantasy based on untrue briefings from faceless individuals within the intelligence apparatus long hostile to Sinn Féin”.

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  • Ulsters my homeland

    what about the Priests who protested against the building being searched before the remembrance service?

    did Taylor not think of interviewing them and asking them why they objected to security searches?

    why didn’t Taylor ask the Priests if they regretted making the building a safe house for the IRA/Sinn Fein to plant the bomb?

  • Ahem

    Murderin’ Mart never murdered anyone! Got that? Obviously, actually, he *did* murder one or two people, but by common consent they all had it coming, the very few of them there were, and shure isn’t everything grand now? And does anyone seriously want him to, very regretfully, have to go back to murdering people (because we keep being nasty and reminding him that he used to murder people), deserving, undeserving, and every point in between as they may be?

    Poor old Martin: it’s a tough life. But then he’s at least got a life, not having been murdered, by him or any of his Provo chums.

  • Rapunsel

    what about the Priests who protested against the building being searched before the remembrance service?

    I believe this to be a completely false and baseless allegation.

    Perhaps you would care to provide evidence for the assertion?

  • joeCanuck

    Rapunsel

    People will believe anything they want to, regardless of the truth or lack thereof.
    It isn’t helped either by the fact that we have many barefaced liars of all political persuasions in N.I.

  • Briso

    I’m shocked by this allegation that Martin McGuinness was involved in the IRA. Surely not? I can’t believe it. Not Martin. I’ve never heard anything like this before. Next they’ll be saying Gerry Kelly was a provo.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Rapunsel, I can’t provide evidence because I doubt if there would be a public inquiry into how the building was deemed safe without it being searched like the previous years. I have family members in the RUC at the time who said the reason the building wasn’t searched was because the RC church protested about the army coming into their building to search for bombs and that the year the army and RC church came to an agreement that the church would search the building was the year the IRA/Sinn Fein left a bomb in it.

    Do I believe my family? Yes, of course.

  • Dave

    McGuinness is quick to glorify the Provos and to seek glory by association (in the warped mindsets of his party’s supporters) but is even quicker to distance himself from the actions of those he otherwise glorifies when there is no glory to be reflected by the association. It seems he only wants to be associated with the “nice” Provos who shot policemen as they answered the front door and decapitated boys and men from England as they sat in the back of army carriers, but what the weasel squirm his way out of the limelight when it is women and old men that his organisation decapitated.

  • nmc

    Have a read at From Guns to Government for the inside skinny on MMG. You probably already have but it opened my eyes with respect to McG.

  • Turgon

    Dave,
    I agree entriely with one exception. I susect when in private he is actually quite happy to glorify the murder of anyone by the IRA. Remember that according to the IRA those at Enniskillen were “legitimate targets” or at worst “collateral damage” when in reality they were Protestants and as such prefectly reasonable people to kill; just like killing any Roman Catholic they decided to kill was also a perfectly reasonable act.

  • As long as our unionists posters fail to acknowledge, much less address, the terrorism of the unionist thugs, I find their moral indignation over PIRA wrongdoings, at best, questionable and, at most, completely dishonest and totally hypocritical.

    For those who don’t know or prefer to ignore, when all is said and done, the PIRA killed some 517 civilians. But the British security forces and the unionsist thugs killed some 1,073 civilians.

    Now, that’s more than twice as many as the PIRA but we hear no words of condemnation from the unionist posters and politicians and no calls for the disarming of the unionist thugs.

    Stupidity, dishonesty or hypocrisy? All three, I fear.

    And, they still want to be ruled by a government that ignored these crimes!!!!

  • “a securocrat fantasy based on untrue briefings from faceless individuals within the intelligence apparatus long hostile to Sinn Féin”.

    Must be true then. Ed Moloney in his book on Paisley asks what is the relationship of McGuinness to the Army Council. Is he under its control or discipline? Does anyone in the DUP care?

    Is Bob McGowan a troll? I suspect he’s better ignored.

  • IRIA

    Bob,

    Come on. Didn’t you get the memo that only Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist dead matter? Civil Rights are suspect, at best, as well.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Do I believe my family? Yes, of course.’

    Sure my folks use to tell me about a bloke called Santa Claus.
    Also, anything anyone in the old RUC says is to be taken with a big fist full of salt.

  • agh

    For those who don’t know or prefer to ignore, when all is said and done, the PIRA killed some 517 civilians. But the British security forces and the unionsist thugs killed some 1,073 civilians.

    Make that up urself Bob?
    Republican groups have been responsible for 2,056 of the deaths, Loyalist groups for 1,020, British Forces for 362, and the Irish Republic’s Forces for 5.

    http://www.cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/book/index.html#append

  • earnan

    That same link you has shows that of 1002 killings attributed to Loyalist Gangs, 713 were civilians murdered because of their religion only.

    That is much higher than any other group of that period. It’s not even close.

  • earnan

    Between 1969 and 2001, 3,523 people were killed as a result of the Troubles.

    Approximately 60% of the victims were killed by republicans, 30% by loyalists and 10% by the British, Irish and Northern Irish security forces.

    Responsibility for killing [3]
    Responsible party No.
    Republican Paramilitary Groups 2055
    Loyalist Paramilitary Groups 1020
    Security Forces 368
    Persons unknown 80
    Total 3523

    [edit] Status
    Most of those killed were civilians or members of the security forces, with smaller groups of victims identified with republican and loyalist paramilitary groups. It is often disputed whether some civilians were members of paramilitary organisations due to their secretive nature. Several PIRA paramilitaries were claimed to be civilians by CAIN but are now claimed by the IRA as their members, Padraig O’Seanachain (Patrick Shanaghan) for example.[33] At least three Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) members killed were also Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldiers.[34] At least one civilian victim was an off-duty member of the TA.[35]

    Deaths by status of victim [4]
    Status No.
    Civilian 1855
    Members of security forces (and reserves) 1123
    of whom:
    British Army (excluding Northern Ireland regiments) 499
    Royal Ulster Constabulary 301
    Ulster Defence Regiment 197
    Northern Ireland Prison Service 24
    Garda Síochána (Republic of Ireland police) 9
    Royal Irish Regiment 7
    Territorial Army 7
    English police forces 6
    Royal Air Force 4
    Royal Navy 2
    Irish Army 1
    Members of Republican Paramilitary Groups 394
    Members of Loyalist Paramilitary Groups 151

  • Debbie

    Pity if the thread ends up with ‘our number of dead is bigger than your number of dead’.

    Thats sad.

    If mcguinness was involved and there is proof then someone should bring him infront of a court, if not….we are in th realm of speculation surely?

    I’d like to wait and see what the programme actually says first.

  • Garibaldy

    Debbie,

    Taylor wrote the piece on the bbc saying McGuiness knew.

  • Mark McGregor

    Gari,

    I’d like a bit more evidence than ‘people that dislike person say nasty things about him’. Lets see if any evidence at all is forthcoming. Unless Taylor is going to give us the dogs on the street argument, which to be honest is beneath him.

  • Garibaldy

    Mark,

    That’s fair enough, although there are far more interesting rumours regarding McGuiness and Enniskillen than that he might have known about it in advance. No evidence for them either but I assume they won’t be mentioned (rightly). Personally, I’m not convinced that whether he knew or not should make any difference to how people view him given that his position at this time was clear to all and sundry.

    I was just saying in response to Debbie that the programme was not going to differ from the bbc piece already linked as the same person produced both, so we could talk about it reasonably in advance of seeing it.

  • Dave

    Tutgon, the second bomb which failed to go off at a Remembrance Day parade in the small village of Tullyhommon was four times the size of the Enniskillen bomb and was aimed at a boys’ band and a girls’ band wherein the “legitimate targets” were children between the ages 6 to 12. At the second parade, only a small number of military personal were present with the overwhelming majority being civilians, thus exposing the soft-focus propaganda that “The civilians were collateral to the bomb but they were prepared to accept the number of casualties.”

    In reality, the soldiers were ‘collateral damage’ and the civilians were the target. Either way, all ‘targets’ are illegitimate to those who are not authorised by the state to conduct offensive military operations. It was all murder, irrespective of whether those who were murdered wore uniforms or blue jeans.

    We should not fall into the trap of using inappropriate terminology that is simply designed to further the propaganda interests of murderers.

  • TAFKABO

    I’ve always wondered at the phrase ‘legitimate target’ and those who use it with seeming authority.
    Surely every organised massacre in human history was carried out by people who thought they had a right to do what they did?

  • Fitzy

    Dave –
    you say
    “Either way, all ‘targets’ are illegitimate to those who are not authorised by the state to conduct offensive military operations. It was all murder, irrespective of whether those who were murdered wore uniforms or blue jeans.

    We should not fall into the trap of using inappropriate terminology that is simply designed to further the propaganda interests of murderers. ”

    Talk about inappropriate terminology… ‘authorized by the state to conduct military operations’… in order for any understanding or harmony to develop between the communities of the north, we all have to try take into account the thoughts, motivations, fears, experiences, etc. etc. of people not sharing our own past or present persuasions. by your logic, children shot to death by rubber bullets were ‘legitimate targets’.
    Don’t get me wrong, it is my belief that both sides of the war were guilty of blatant intentional cold-blooded murder (that’s why they call it war), but to isolate victims by who killed them won’t get us anywhere.

  • Dave

    Tafkabo, if the aim was to establish an Independent Republic of Northern Ireland and if the ‘revolutionaries’ acted on the authority of exercising the wish of the majority for independence, then they wouldn’t need the authority of the state in order to oppose it. But that was not the aim; nor were they the majority in Northern Ireland, and they are now busy administering British rule on behalf of the United Kingdom. It is part of their propaganda that they were the legitimate government of Ireland and thereby entitled to engage in war on behalf of Ireland. It seems they can’t make up their minds if they were a legitimate government or a revolutionary movement. Incidentally, the actual legitimate government of Ireland (and its citizens) were resolutely opposed to the interlopers and their self-appointed roles, so they did not act with the authority of the Irish state or with the authority of its people.

    Fitzy, there wasn’t any ‘war.’ Go look up its meaning in international law. And it’s lucky for the Provos that they are regarded as criminals, since if it was classified as a war then they would be sent to the Hague for war crimes.

  • Fitzy

    Dave –
    i hope you didn’t infer from my post that i would support the provos, as you would be mistaken.

    i’m not particulary interested in the meaning of the word war from an ‘international law’ standpoint. international law won’t keep peace in ireland. dialogue and understanding between communities will. it’s my guess that most people that endured any part of the last 40 years (save the last 9 or so) would call the situation war.