Northern Ireland news

RHI: 'Attack on Martin McGuinness's integrity is spurious'

 Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O'Neill responds to a claim by Arlene Foster to the RHI inquiry that Martin McGuinness had been made aware of the RHI whistleblower's claims. Picture by Mark Marlow 

Sinn Féin has responded to a claim by Arlene Foster that the late deputy first minister Martin McGuinness was aware of a whistleblower warning about the RHI scheme.

Party vice president Michelle O'Neill defended Mr McGuinness in the wake of Mrs Foster's claim before the inquiry on Tuesday that she made the Sinn Féin veteran aware of the whistleblower allegations when she received then in January 2016.

Reading out a statement in the Great Hall of Parliament Buildings today, Mrs O'Neill said: "Martin McGuinness set the benchmark for good government and the fair and equal treatment of all citizens. He led by example and any attack on his integrity is spurious, is disgraceful and it will be robustly challenged by our party.

"The comments that were made before the RHI public inquiry that Martin McGuiness had prior knowledge of the whistleblower will be examined by the inquiry. However, Sinn Féin is confident that our position and the position of Martin McGuinness will be fully vindicated. Martin McGuinness is no longer here to defend himself.

"I can also tell you that this allegation is subject to an ongoing and separate legal action."

It is understood the action relates to comments made by a different DUP member as to another Sinn Féin figure's alleged knowledge of whistleblower claims.

Click here for live coverage from the RHI inquiry today (Wed September 25)

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