Newsletter interviews Martin McGuinness

The Newsletter is carrying its report of an interview it has conducted with Martin McGuinness. In this interview he claims the DUP had agreed to the devolution of policing and justice and that he does not know whether or not the IRA army council still exists.From the interview report:
Mr McGuinness claimed that the DUP had promised him, personally, that it was committed to transferring the powers in line with the date, envisaged by the St Andrews Agreement, of May this year.

More specifically, he recalled “a conversation that I had with Ian Paisley Jnr, Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds in this very building [Stormont Castle] on the Saturday before the March 26 [2007 – the day Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams announced a devolution deal], when I put to them that it was very, very important that people stood by the commitments that were made in the St Andrews Agreement and was told by the DUP that they would do that.

Obviously, that specified that powers should be transferred by May of this year.

Everybody left St Andrews on the basis that the date for the transfer of policing and justice powers was May this year.”

In the same report the DUP has flatly denied McGuinness’s claims:

“At no time during the meeting (March 24, 2007] did any DUP representative give a commitment to devolve policing and justice powers by May 2008.

At that meeting it was articulated that the DUP would stand by any commitment made at St Andrews. At no time during or after St Andrews did the DUP make a commitment to devolve policing and justice powers within the Government timetable.

The St Andrews Agreement and the May 2008 date are products of British and Irish governments. At no time has the DUP ever signed up to the St Andrews Agreement or the May 2008 date.

This position was openly expressed by Mr Paisley during the Press conference following St Andrews.

Whilst the DUP favours the devolution of policing and justice powers, we have stated in our manifesto and in other public comments that the confidence does not exist to support any move.”

On the subject of the IRA army council McGuinness reportedly said this:
“I do not know if it [the Army Council] does exist or not.”
He explained that over the last year “all of my focus and all of my meetings have been on the work of government” and “I have not had any cause whatsoever to be in touch with the IRA over the course of the recent while”.

  • Pete Baker

    Turgon

    On McGuinness and his temporary blindness the PIRA army council.

    And on McGuinness and his, at best, flawed analysis of what the St Andrews document said.

  • Ahem

    Well of course what Murderin’ Mart says about what Dodds, Robbo et al knew, and when they knew it, must be true. As true, indeed, as what he says about what he knows, or rather, doesn’t know about whether or not the Provos’ “Army Council” still exists.

  • ulsterfan

    He is reported to say he does not know if the Army Council exists or not.
    If this is true it is a stupid statement.
    It is his business to find out one way or another.

  • Steve

    UF why would it be his business to find out?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    re. Army Council and other difficult questions.

    This is presumably the party line and they must surely have given this some thought to this and realise just how silly this sounds. I can only think that they believe that if they said anything at all then they would be asked further questions and pretending they know nothing of these matters is thought to be the best policy.

  • Dewi

    Nowt new about this is there? After reading Powell’s book I have a greater understanding of the absolutely murky, detailed and difficult road to peace. Leads to tolerance of SF’s position to some degree.

  • ulsterfan

    Steve
    In the interests of truth.
    I want to know if this Council exists.
    If I write to Mr P ONeill in Dublin will He answer —Don’t think so
    Martin and Gerry on the other hand have some contacts and it would be a public duty for them to find out.
    We will not let this ambiguity last as we still await confirmation of decommissioning and sometimes you wonder about the delay of P&J;.
    Two can play at that game.

  • Steve

    UF

    What possible difference could it make if it still exists? And would you take Marty’s word that it doesn’t?

    If you write a letter to P. Oneilin in Dublin you may or may not recieve a response depending on where the postie decides to deliver it. Just for the record as I understand it Dublin is not the natural home of the IRA. Try Armagh or Belfast

    Why would the army councilors want to contact Gerry or Marty, they are probably under surveilance and it would possibly expose them to scrutiny they might not otherwise endure.

    And UF just for once worry about the loyalist murder gangs decomissioning they after all are the ones murdering your friends and families not the IRA

  • ulsterfan

    Steve
    You are very wrong.
    It was PIRA which caused great harm to my community not Loyalist paramilitaries.
    You seem to be hung up about their decommissioning when there is no need to.
    I believe the IRA held on to more armaments than the loyalists ever had.
    I don’t believe they actually have any significant amounts of arms and certainly less than those still held by PIRA.
    All crime is wrong whether it is by loyalists or republicans and both are still involved.

  • Steve

    UF

    Was is a very instructive word
    the IRA were the ones causing harm along with the alphabet killers

    IS is also an instructive word
    the alphabet killers ARE killing and ruining your neighborhoods

    By the way
    It was PIRA which caused great harm to my community not Loyalist paramilitaries.
    Catch yourself on and get serious they both were

  • waffler

    this is nothing new from double talker marti
    For this past 2 years this has been his dribble when asked questions by republicans in relation to all the dirty shit that went on during his shift at the wheel of the army council which he still controls

  • Ard Eoin

    Waffler
    What you have said is libelous, unless you have the proof to back it up.

    Ulster Fan
    Would photo’s have sorted decommisioning out for you, or would you need to scour the whole island of Ireland with a metal detector before you were satisfied? As for your
    “It was PIRA which caused great harm to my community not Loyalist paramilitaries.
    You seem to be hung up about their decommissioning when there is no need to.” This statement reeks of sectarianism, there is a need to remove the gun from Irish politics, otherwise what is your problem with any former or current member of the IRA? If you have something constructive to say do it, even Paisley has stopped saying no.

  • ulsterfan

    There was never any need to introduce the gun into Irish politics.
    My concern about current and former IRA members relates to their criminality.
    Being a member is still a criminal offence.

  • Dewi

    “Being a member is still a criminal offence. ”

    So decrimanalise it

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ulsterfan,

    well when you home is being attacked by police officers cheerleading a mob there certainly was a case for ( more ) guns in Irish politics. Unionists such as yourself need to face up to the fact that your community is partly responsible for bringing the gun to centre stage in Irish poilitcs instead of being in denial. The British to whom you for some reason swear your loyalty recognise this as well as the role they played themselves.

  • Steve

    UF
    it is also still a criminal offense to belong to the uvf uda and should be for the ruc these loyalist paramilitary forces are also criminals and frankly unless you are living in whats considered a nationalist enclave its not the IRA thats ruining your neighborhoods. Its the silly ponces prancing across the TV screens in their track suits admitting openly that they are criminals, calling themselves cmmanders and extorting the life out of the loyalist estates while they sell poison to kids

  • waffler

    Ard Eoin

    Marti being the big hitter now can sue me
    it would be nice disclosing various other things in the defence of my statement above.

  • Sir Edward Carson

    “There was never any need to introduce the gun into Irish politics.”

    I now see the error of my ways.

  • Ard Eoin

    Waffler by name, waffle on.

  • waffler

    Thank you Ard Eoin for permission to keep waffling
    why shouldn`t I ?
    Marti`s been doing it for 35 years and look where all his treason has got him at the expense of true republicans with no hidden british agenda`s

  • Comrade Stalin

    it is also still a criminal offense to belong to the uvf uda and should be for the ruc

    Steve, you’re on another planet.