28/07/2006

McGuinness denies IRA threatened woman

Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness has today denied claims that the IRA made a threat to the sister of a former republican informer.

Earlier this week, ex-informer Martin McGartland said that he believed that the threats had come from the republican group, after police warned that republican paramilitaries had obtained details of her home address.

No group was named during the warning, however Mr McGartland, who was an RUC Special Branch agent within the IRA in 1980s, believes that the threat is a repercussion of his past.

It has been reported that in the past, there have been several attacks on members of the McGartland family and Mr McGartland added that he believes that the threat was linked to a bid to ensure that no-one was charged over an attempt on his life in 1999, when he was shot seven times by republican paramilitaries.

However, Martin McGuinness dismissed the claims as a move to damage the ongoing political process and added that those determined to do so were behind the claims.

Mr McGuinness said: "It is quite clear at key times in the process in the past that there are people within the process who are doing their damnedest to try to destabilise the process and to undermine the republican contribution to it."

(EF/SP)

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