Presidential election favorite Sean Gallagher has urged Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness to come forward with any information he may have relating to the murder of Irish police officer Jerry McCabe by the IRA.
McGuinness’s bid to become President of Ireland has been slammed by the McCabe family, 15 years after the detective was shot during a post office raid in the Limerick town of Adare.
The Sinn Fein candidate has consistently denied any knowledge of the IRA murder of McCabe but has again stopped short of condemning the killers.
Now Gallagher, ahead of Labor’s Michael D Higgins in two more opinion polls this weekend, has joined the calls for McGuinness to reveal any information he may have about the murder.
“There can be no tolerance for people who murder gardai (police) or members of the Defence Forces, or security personnel in general, who are the very guardians of our society,” said Gallagher after a radio debate with all the other candidates.
“If Martin McGuinness has information he should come forward like every other citizen and make that information available. There can be no room for ambiguity.
“My heart goes out to Ann McCabe, the wife of Jerry McCabe who was killed in a heinous crime doing his duty for the State.
“All our support and solidarity must go now to the families, and anybody who knows anything about these crimes should come forward.
“The gardai (police) and the Army play such an important role in protecting our society and making it safe and secure for all of us. There should be absolutely no attempt to cover up any information.
“I would call on all the candidates and anybody else throughout the country who has information to come and help bring that forward.
“There can be no room for ambiguity on the part of anybody who is standing in an election to be the President, to be the head of the defence forces, and to be the head of State.
“I think people need to reflect on all these important issues, absolutely.”
McGuinness meanwhile has again refused to condemn the McCabe killers but did condemn the killing.
Asked to condemn the killers when speaking to reporters after the radio debate, he said: “Condemn his killing? I’ve already done that. I’ve already done it.”
He repeated: “I’ve already done it. I condemned the killing of Jerry McCabe.”
The former IRA man also denied claims by McCabe’s wife Ann that he had visited Kevin Walsh, one of the killers, while he was on the run in Cavan.
“Whoever told Ann McCabe that is doing her a great disservice, because it is not true and it begs the question that if somebody told Mrs McCabe (that), then why was Kevin Walsh not arrested?” asked McGuinness.
“An even bigger question is if the gardai (police) believe that, why did they never question me?
“Whoever told Mrs McCabe that, and she has my full sympathy, did her a disservice because there is no truth whatsoever in that and it begs the question, if this came from the gardai, why did the gardai not arrest Kevin Walsh?
“I would not support anybody under any circumstances attacking the gardai or the Defence Forces, who we are depending upon at the moment to work with the gardai to apprehend those people who are daily trying to destroy the peace process.”