04 January 2006

McGuinness denies Motorman knowledge

Belfast Telegraph

Allegations 'total absolute nonsense'

By Sarah Brett
04 January 2006

MID-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness today rubbished claims that he knew in advance about Operation Motorman, which left two young Derry men dead in 1972.

One of those killed was IRA man Seamus Bradley, whose brother Daniel believes the Sinn Fein leadership has questions to answer.

He claims that both Mr McGuinness - a top IRA man at the time - and Gerry Adams fled across the border on the eve of the incursion because they had prior warning from the British Government.

"Why wasn't my brother warned?" Mr Bradley asked yesterday.

It is well known that the two republicans took part in secret talks with the then Secretary of State William Whitelaw in the July of 1972.

Mr Bradley wants the minutes of the meeting made public.

Mr McGuinness today dismissed the claims out of hand.

"Such allegations are total and absolute nonsense but what is public knowledge is that because of possible ramifications and international opinion following the Bloody Sunday Massacre that January the British government heavily briefed the Irish government and the SDLP leadership of its intentions to invade the no-go areas," he said.

"While the Sinn Fein leadership understands and shares the emotional hurt and grief felt by Mr Bradley around the death of his brother there is no basis for these allegations. The Republican Movement holds the Bradley family in high regard and esteem."

Mr Bradley claims that Sinn Fein have consistently refused to erect a memorial for his brother whom he says "died for nothing".

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