Photo: Sinn Fein
Irish presidential candidate, Martin McGuinness has told the Independent that most Irish voters don’t care whether he was in the IRA or not.McGuinness says that he left the IRA in 1976, and has stated that his membership hasn’t been a factor when talking to potential voters. However, that hasn’t meant he’s been immune to criticism.
The Irish Independent described McGuinness as an “acquired taste” not ignoring his violent past. Just today, McGuinness has had to hit back at rival party Fine Gael after one government official attacked the candidate over the IRA robbery of the Northern Bank in 2004, according to the Irish Times. However, there is no evidence that McGuinness was involved in the incident.
McGuinness has also had to constantly defend his reputation. The Irish Journal reported that the candidate sort to portray himself as a “unifier” rather than allude to his IRA past. In his interview with the Independent, he wouldn’t be drawn in to calling any killings carried out by the IRA as “murders.”
Concern about McGuinness’s role in the IRA has also been heard internationally. A column in the Guardian describes McGuinness as a “butcher boy.” Additionally, NPR reported that McGuinness denied his past IRA membership until 2003.
The claim that no one cares about the candidate’s past therefore appears to be only semi-accurate. As numerous news sources state, voters are taking McGuinness in to consideration. However, his murky past is not slipping under the radar.
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