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Martin McGuinness

McGuinness election bid branded an insult to all IRA victims by angry family

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Martin McGuinness

Another relative of an IRA victim has attacked Martin McGuinness’s bid to become President of Ireland.

Ann Travers lost her 23-year-old sister Mary in 1984 when she was shot dead by the IRA as she left Mass at a Belfast church.

Their father Tom Travers was shot six times in the IRA attack but survived.

“I do have a vote in the presidential election and I’m sure Martin isn’t surprised he won’t be getting my vote,” said Travers after travelling to Belfast to support a motion at the Northern Ireland parliament stopping those with prison records working there.

“His presence in the election is an insult to the victims of the IRA.”

The Travers family have demanded answers from McGuinness and Sinn Fein over the party’s decision to hire one of those charged with Mary’s murder.

Mary McArdle, convicted for her role in the killing, is now a special adviser to Northern Ireland’s Minister for Culture Carál Ní Chuilín. McArdle was sentenced to life imprisonment but released under the Belfast agreement.

The Travers family are publicly supporting a private member’s bill put forward by Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister.

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The bill would lead to the sacking of Ms McArdle and prevent others with criminal records and carrying prison sentences of five years or more being appointed special advisers to Ministers in the Northern Executive.

McGuinness is also the subject of a fresh attack from the son of an Irish solder killed by the IRA during the attempt to rescue kidnap victim Don Tidey in 1983.

David Kelly, son of murdered soldier Patrick Kelly, first confronted McGuinness as he canvassed in Athlone on Monday.

He has now written to the Irish Times in another attempt to discredit the Sinn Fein candidate.

“After everything we have endured, it is devastating for us to see Mr McGuinness, a leading member of the PIRA terrorist movement of many years, to make an opportunistic and insensitive bid for the Irish presidency, which includes the titular title commander and chief of the Irish Defence Forces,” wrote Kelly.

The letter included another request for McGuinness to identify those who killed Kelly’s father.

“We demand the information now so that, even post the Good Friday agreement and the time that has elapsed, we can achieve successful prosecutions for the murder of two true peacemakers and patriots, not in the future as part of any truth and reconciliation committee, but now, and we make no apologies for it,” he added.

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