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 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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