Northern Ireland news

Martin McGuinness to give evidence at legacy inquest

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness. Picture by Mal McCann 
David Young, Press Association

DEPUTY First Minister Martin McGuinness is to give evidence to a legacy inquest about IRA activities at the height of the Troubles.

The Sinn Fein veteran and former IRA commander has been asked by the family of Derry teenager Seamus Bradley to provide a statement to the historic coroner's investigation.

Mr McGuinness has agreed to co-operate with the process and said he will assist in any way he can. He indicated it will be up to the court to decide if he is to be called to give evidence in person, beyond his written statement.

Mr Bradley (19), was shot and killed by a Royal Scots Regiment soldier in the Creggan area of Derry in 1972 during Operation Motorman - an army attempt to gain control of republican areas in Belfast and Derry that had previously been considered no-go zones for the security forces.

Mr McGuinness told the public inquiry into the Bloody Sunday shootings in January 1972 that he was second in command of the IRA in Derry at the time. He has insisted he left the organisation two years later.

He has been asked to provide information to the inquest about IRA activities in Derry at the time of Mr Bradley's shooting. The shooting in July 1972 is shrouded in controversy, as the IRA had allegedly stood down its operations at that time.

The death is the subject of one of 56 outstanding Troubles inquests yet to be heard in the north.

High Court judge Lord Justice Weir is currently conducting a two-week review exercise to assess each case's state of readiness.

The disclosure about Mr McGuinness emerged as judge Weir was updated about the Bradley case in Laganside court.

Mr McGuinness's solicitor Padraig O Muirigh said: "Martin McGuinness has instructed me that he will co-operate with the coronial process and assist the Bradley family.

"He is at the discretion of the court as to what form that assistance takes."

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