Martin McGuinness: “the past is a very, very dark place for everybody.”

In response to a challenge to appear in front of the Smithwick Tribunal, Sinn Féin’s candidate in the Irish Presidential election, Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA, has said that he has “no problem at all attending the tribunal”.  But he added that he has “no direct knowledge of the circumstances surrounding” the murder of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan.

Earlier today, Martin McGuinness said he could not recall the incident Peter Murtagh wrote about in today’s Irish Times, threatened Frank Hegarty’s family with recounting his own version of events, and claimed that “the past is a very, very dark place for everybody”.

From the Irish Times report

Mr McGuinness has repeatedly denied that he lured so-called IRA “informer’’ Frank Hegarty back to Derry to his death in 1986. Asked about an article in today’s Irish Times , in which Foreign Editor Peter Murtagh outlined an encounter with Mr McGuinness in a car outside the Hegarty home in Derry in 1986, Mr McGuinness said he did not recall the incident.

When it was put to Mr McGuinness that he told the Hegarty family it was safe for Mr Hegarty to return home, Mr McGuinness said that was not true.

“That is not true, and the Hegarty family know that. I could articulate in this interview exactly what happened, but if I did that it would be very hurtful and indeed very damaging to the Hegarty family,” he said. He claimed one member of the family knew what had happened, “and I am not going to put that person in a predicament”.

Speaking generally about his past, Mr McGuinness said people in Northern Ireland were not “obsessed by any of this”. He added: “The reality is that the past is a very, very dark place for everybody.”

Not for everybody, Martin…

And then there’s this line.

“What I do find I suppose bemusing [is] that when I come to Dublin you will find a number of people who themselves don’t understand that there is an art to peacemaking and that they too need to have a role in that instead of taking up confrontational positions,” Mr McGuinness said.

[Don’t ask ‘stupid’ questions? – Ed]  Indeed.

Except that Martin McGuinness isn’t “peacemaking”, artistically or otherwise. 

He’s trying to get elected as the President of Ireland.