Martin McGuinness: “as far as I was concerned she apologised for her behaviour…”

That’s according to the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, in an interview to be published in the Irish Examiner tomorrow.  He’s referring to RTÉ presenter Miriam O’Callaghan and her questioning of his version of his past during a televised debate with candidates in the Irish Presidential election last year.  From the Irish Examiner report

In an interview to be published in full in Monday’s Irish Examiner, Mr McGuinness says Ms O’Callaghan apologised on count night.”Miriam came off the stage after she had spoken to RTÉ and went to my wife and two children, two daughters, and apologised for her performance on the show [the Prime Time debate],” he said.

Pressed on whether Ms O’Callaghan apologised specifically for the murder question, he said: “Well, as far as I was concerned she apologised for her behaviour, and that, as far as I’m concerned, was the end of it. Miriam didn’t apologise to me — she apologised to my wife and two daughters,” he said.

However, Miriam O’Callaghan’s recollection of the incident he’s referring to is notably different in a number of respects.
[Miriam O’Callaghan] “I remember he asked me to come over and meet his wife and daughters in Dublin Castle, and I do remember apologising to them for any stress caused to them during the presidential campaign — as I am always very conscious that families and loved ones have to endure a lot during election campaigns, particularly very tough ones.”I would never, however, have apologised for asking that question. That is just not something I would do.

“It’s my job to ask tough questions. I will never apologise for that. I am just doing my job.”

That account is consistent with what the RTÉ presenter has said elsewhere about the original incident.  As in this recent Herald.ie report

…Miriam dismissed suggestions that she treated the Ulster MLA unfairly, adding that she was just doing her job.”Look, it’s like every political party and group from the north and south of the border have got really annoyed at me at one stage or another, so I think that probably means I’m doing my job as best I can … you need to ask tough questions or give up the game.”

On the other hand, Martin McGuinness’ memory of events is notoriously unreliable…

It’s the kind of thing that continues to happen when telling lies is regarded as an excusable and acceptable tactic.

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  • Limerick

    Show a bit of manners and decency to a Sinner and watch as it is thrown back in your face. Hardly surprising given his track record.

  • glenda lough

    Honestly Martin’s making such a fuss. You’d think she accused him of murder or something.

  • cynic2

    Poor Martin. He’s so misunderstood and his memory is almost as unreliable as Gerry’s

  • Limerick

    Did someone mention Gerry’s memory?

  • cynic2

    Come to think of it you know, I am often like that with the wife. She goes on and on at me about things I have done or not done. I mumble a few excuses. She tells me I am useless. i graciously accept her apology and we move on.

  • Alias

    Mr McGuinness couldn’t be a murderer. No state would ever deem a murderer a fit and proper person to be elected to public office. Miriam O’Callaghan was clearly mistaken…

  • USA

    The usual prejudiced post by Baker and his little fan club of Alias, Cynic2 and Limerick arrive right on cue. I couldn’t possibly think of anywhere worse to be right now….slan leat.

  • The interview. I presume there’ll be a new thread …

  • tuatha

    What’s with the YELLOW & RED cards for what seem to me to be amazingly moderate comments, considering who is being discussed.

  • Honestly Martin’s making such a fuss. You’d think she accused him of murder or something. ….. glenda lough 29 January 2012 at 9:53 pm

    glenda lough, Howdy,

    Did you mean to say wrongly accused him of murder or something? Then you can be sure would there be such a fuss, for who in their right mind would accept such a charge hanging over them and not sue for all available compensation?

    Absent such a process, must one draw the truth from the obvious conclusions.

    And there are an inordinate number of red and yellow cards on this thread. Come on, lads and lasses, play the game right.

  • Rory Carr

    Read Glenda Lough’s contribution, Tuatha and observe how delicately she walks the tight-wire – precariously, but safely, above the pit of yellow and red cards.

    She does it wittily and well (darn her !).

  • Mick Fealty

    Persistent offences! I don’t mind what anyone says, so long as it remains on topic and is not playing the man! Ad hominem arguments are not arguments at all, but occasions for spleen venting.

    Limerick is yay close to a black, as is USA.

  • Pete Baker

    “I don’t mind what anyone says, so long as it remains on topic and is not playing the man!”

    I’d be content if the comments started on topic…

  • Pete Baker

    But don’t let the contradicticons in memory of the incident blind anyone to what is actually going on…

  • Jimmy Sands

    He went on to point out that he still awaits apologies from David Kelly, Teresa Hand Campbell and Lowry Mathers, but that he is willing to forgive.

  • Miriam: “I do remember apologising to them for any stress caused to them during the presidential campaign”

    Portrayal of one’s spouse or parent as Mirian did could indeed cause stress: “”How do you square, Martin McGuinness, with your God the fact that you were involved in the murder of so many people?” So Martin’s acceptance of that apology to his family is fair enough. However, none of the tough questions from journalists have moved him to provide greater clarification about his alleged leadership role in the PRM’s military wing.

    Miriam’s ‘enormous respect’ for Martin doesn’t square with that ‘murder of so many people’ question.