Family of Det Garda Jerry McCabe says Martin McGuinness is not fit to be president

Eugene Phelan

Reporter:

Eugene Phelan

ANNE McCabe, the widow of murdered Limerick detective Jerry McCabe, has dramatically broken her silence on Martin McGuinness and his presidential election bid in a statement issued to the Limerick Leader.

ANNE McCabe, the widow of murdered Limerick detective Jerry McCabe, has dramatically broken her silence on Martin McGuinness and his presidential election bid in a statement issued to the Limerick Leader.

Mrs McCabe and her family this Wednesday evening felt compelled to issue a statement on the candidature of Sinn Fein’s Mr McGuinness for the office of president, stating he was aware of the whereabouts of two members of the IRA who were still being sought for her husband’s murder.

The McCabe family said gardai believe Mr McGuinness visited Kevin Walsh – who was convicted with others of the killing – while he was hiding in a safe house in County Cavan. They want to know why Mr McGuinness met the Kevin Walsh, one of the gang that gunned down Detective McCabe on June 7, 1996 in Adare.

They also want to know why Mr McGuinness did not prevail on Mr Walsh to give himself in – and why he failed to alert the gardai about the whereabouts of the man who was on the most wanted list in Ireland at the time.

The McCabe family stance follows similar action take by the Kelly, Hand, Stack and Clerkin families, who have all suffered at the hands of the IRA.

The McCabes say that Mr McGuinness knows the whereabouts of Paul Damery and Gerry Roche who are still on the wanted list regarding the killing of detective McCabe brutally gunned down with his colleague Ben O’Sullivan, who miraculously survived, despite being riddled by bullets.

The McCabe family are also annoyed that Mr McGuinness and his colleagues in Sinn Fein organised a strong campaign for the early release of those who killed Jerry.

They have asked that the other candidates in the election demand Mr McGuinness to cooperate with Gardai into its ongoing enquiries into terrorist crimes and say his actions and statement do not make him a suitable candidate for the office of President of Ireland.

In response to the statement issued by the McCabe family, Martin Mr McGuinness said: “The killing of Garda McCabe was unjustifiable. I have condemned it unreservedly. A grave wrong was done to the McCabe family and the IRA have acknowledged that and apologised for it. I have never and would never stand over attacks on members of the defence forces or the gardaí,”

He added: “For the record I did not meet with Kevin Walsh in aftermath of the killing of Garda McCabe and I have no information about the whereabouts of any other suspects or if indeed there are any other suspects.

The following is the full statement from the McCabe family in relation to the candidature of Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness for the office of President of Ireland.

When Kevin Walsh, the ringleader of the Sinn Fein IRA volunteers convicted of killing my husband, Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, in Adare on June 7, 1996, was released from Castlerea Prison our family attempted to move on as best we could with our lives.

Since that morning when the last of the murderers was freed into the waiting arms of Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris we have refrained from any public comment concerning the political affairs of the State my husband died defending from the terror gangs of the Provisional IRA.

Now we feel we must break that silence to raise our concerns about the course of the current presidential election campaign, and specifically address matters that have arisen in the public domain regarding the knowledge and activities of Martin McGuinness in relation to those who perpetrated the murder of my husband and those individuals the Garda Siochana are still seeking to interview about that cowardly crime. In doing so we wish to endorse the courageous interventions of the Kelly, Hand, Stack and Clerkin families who still like us seek to have all of the IRA murderers involved in the killing of their loved ones brought to justice.

We know that the Garda Siochana believe that Martin McGuinness visited Kevin Walsh while he was hiding in a safe house in County Cavan. For what purpose did Mr McGuinness meet the killer of Jerry McCabe? Why did he not prevail upon Mr Walsh to hand himself in? Why did he fail to alert the Garda Siochana about the whereabouts of the man who was at the top of the most wanted list in this Republic?

The gardai believe that Mr McGuinness was a senior member of the Provisional IRA’s Army Council for many years. This sinister body he regards as the legitimate government of Ireland. This loyalty to a secret illegal army presumably was more important to Mr McGuinness than helping the Garda Siochana to solve a vicious murder. It is a loyalty that we believe is incompatible with the office of President of Ireland.

As a senior IRA man Mr McGuinness is aware that two members of the IRA are still being sought for the murder of Jerry McCabe. As David Kelly said last week in Athlone: “He knows who the killers of Recruit Garda Gary Sheehan and Private Paddy Kelly are”. We believe he also knows the current whereabouts of Paul Damery, and Gerry Roche who have been on the wanted list by An Garda Siochana since June 1996.

Mr McGuinness and his colleagues in Sinn Fein organised a vigorous campaign for the early release of the prisoners who murdered Jerry McCabe and he stated that Detective Garda McCabe’s killers were “entitled to their freedom”.

The Irish people are being asked to chose a head of state next week. A vote for Martin McGuinness is a vote for a man who refuses to assist the security forces of this Republic with its investigations into the most serious crimes committed against servants of the State. We don’t believe this is an issue that can be ignored and brushed aside in the interests of “peace”. We call on all other candidates seeking the office of president to demand from Mr McGuinness that he cooperate with the police into its ongoing inquiries into the terrorist crimes that claimed the lives of servants of this Republic.

This election is as much about the moral duties of those who seek high office as it is about their vision for the presidency and Ireland’s future.

We want to move on and resume what passes for a normal life without a father and husband and brother. We can’t move on if Mr McGuinness assumes he can aspire to the symbolic status of first citizen without first discharging the most basic responsibility of any citizen. If Martin McGuinness cannot or will not assist the authorities with its investigations into the murders of police officers, soldiers and prison officer how can we expect the rule of law to prevail under his Presidency?

This is a moment of truth for all of us.

Martin McGuinness owes every voter the truth and his opponents should unequivocally demand that he come clean. Otherwise we will have one law for members of Sinn Fein IRA and another law for the rest of us. In such a scenario, should Mr McGuinness prevail, the constitutional integrity of the democratic institutions of the state will be grieviously undermined.”

We are of opinion that the actions and statements of Mr. McGuinness do not make him a suitable candidate for the office of President of Ireland.