Sinn Fein candidate for the Irish presidency, Martin McGuinness, has said that he will not answer questions during his campaign about his past as a local commander of the Provisional IRA.
Speaking during a local radio interview he said “he would not be interrogated” by the interviewer about specific IRA killings.
On Monday Ulster Unionist Party leader Tom Elliott said that McGuinness should “come clean” over his past and apologize to his victims. He said “I think it would be extremely useful if he were to sit down and talk of his overall involvement.”
"Of how he was a commander in the IRA, what those actions enabled him to do, what some of the actions were that he did take and an acceptance that their campaign was wrong."
Martin McGuinness insists he is a ‘peacemaker to be trusted’
Martin McGuinness forced to condemn IRA men who killed police officer Gerry McCabe
Martin McGuinness would meet Queen if Irish president he says
However others do not have any reservations about McGuinness running in the election.
In 1993 Alan McBride’s wife was killed in a bomb on the mainly Protestant Shankill Road, in Belfast. Speaking to CNN he said he has “no real reservations about McGuinness running.”
McBride said “We have been in a (peace) process for many years and I recognize the role Martin McGuinness has played in that in terms of getting us to where we are.” However he also said that he recognized how other victims “would have very mixed views.”
Speaking to the BBC McGuinness said to bring up his involvement in the IRA was an attempt on the part of the media to use the feelings of the victims against him.
He said “I think it's an attempt by the media to whip up the feelings of victims and try to use the feelings of victims."
He continued “The IRA was a participant and I was in the IRA - I don't divest my responsibility for that, I do believe that I have a responsibility given that I was a member of the IRA.
"I believe that the people of Ireland will look at my record in the round I think they will see me as a peacemaker, they will see me as someone who has tried to inspire people in the north in favor of the peace process."
He also said that he would not apologize for his involvement in the IRA and added “I am going forward as Martin McGuinness in my own right, I'm not going forward as a representative of Sinn Fein," he said.
"My allegiance is to the people of Ireland.
“As part of my responsibility if I was lucky enough to be elected as president of my country would be to represent my country on the world stage and to meet with foreign dignitaries without exception.”
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore