Facts about Martin McGuinness
Today Martin McGuinness is a leading Sinn Fein member and active constituency representative but eleven years ago he was performing a different role.
Mr McGuinness admits that he was second-in-command in the IRA in Londonderry at the time of Bloody Sunday on 30 January 1972, when paratroopers fired on a civil rights march killing 13 people. Martin McGuinness will refute first shot claim Sinn Fein sources have said, however, that Mr McGuinness will not provide the tribunal with the identities of other IRA members or discuss the roles they played during that time. Source - BBCNEWS Tuesday, 1 May, 2001
He was in charge of "Free Derry", and he would claim that the only reason he was not interned was because the government couldn't catch him. (Sunday Times 8.5.83).
He has however served two prison terms in the Irish Republic, while his wife, Bernadette, has also been jailed.
Last year McGuinness was denounced by Mr Merlyn Rees - a former Home Secretary - as a terrorist and 'The Observer' alleged that he was "widely held to have headed the IRA Londonderry Brigade." (Observer 17.4.83).
In the book "Conflict and Christianity in Northern Ireland" (1973) McGuinness appears in a photograph with other prominent republicans alleged to be "IRA leaders."
During McGuinness's election campaign "one enthusiastic (Sinn Fein) helper was heard to observe, this is better crack than stripping an Armalite." (Sunday Times 8.5.83)
McGuinness still speaks fervently of the "legal and moral right of the IRA to kill a British soldier at any time." (The Observer 17.4.83). For to him, as he said on 9.10.83, "the presence of the Brilish 'occupation' itself necessitates struggle," (Irish People).