Martin McGuinness: Ex Chief of Staff-or just Northern Commander?

On the day when Martin McGuinness–Deputy First Minister–is asked to speak at a ceremony in Warrington remembering thos killed by an IRA bomb we post a revealing interview given some years back to reporter Tom Mangold.
This article first appeared in .



New post on The Broken Elbow



“As The Officer Commanding The Derry Part Of The         IRA…?” – That Tom Mangold Interview With Martin McGuinness Now         On YouTube

by The Broken Elbow

Many thanks to       “Wicklow” for this tip that the famous Tom Mangold interview       with a young Martin McGuinness is now on YouTube, the one which begins       with the celebrated question: “As the officer commanding the Derry       part of the IRA Provisionals….?

It was, allegedly,       the threat that this interview would be used against him that persuaded       him both to give evidence to the Saville Tribunal confirming his IRA       membership at the time of Bloody Sunday and to refine the description of       his IRA career so that he supposedly left the organisation back in 1974.

Up until then the       report in the London Independent       below was how he normally dealt with the matter, which       more or less accorded with the traditional stance of IRA members when       confronted by the membership question, i.e. a non-denial denial. Given       his conviction in a Dublin court for IRA offences and his courtroom boast       of his pride at being an IRA activist he could hardly do anything else.       Unencumbered by such baggage, Gerry Adams is on the other hand able to       issue flat denials of IRA associations.

Wearing a moustache, Martin McGuinness in Garda custody       prior to one of his court appearances in Dublin

The report, which was       published in August 1993, appeared after a screening of the Cook Report       on ITV which claimed that he was “the man in charge of the       IRA”. McGuinness’ assertion that he was not the Chief of Staff was       actually correct. Tom ‘Slab’ Murphy held that job. But his claim that he       was not a member of the IRA was untrue. He was Northern Commander in 1993,       or just had been, and since the IRA’s war was fought largely in the North       one could argue that he was a very important member of the IRA at least,       if not the man actually in charge. Here is the relevant part of The Independent       report:

Mr McGuinness did not       appear on the programme, but yesterday gave a series of interviews in       which he denied its claims. He told a BBC interviewer that as a young man       he ‘took up a particular stance which I’m not prepared to elaborate on in       this programme’.

Asked if he had ever       been a member of the IRA, he replied: ‘I’m not stating any opinion at all       about what I was in the past. What I’m saying is I’m not a member of the       IRA. I’m not chief of staff of the IRA and I’m not Britain’s number one       terrorist.’

After his appearance       at the Saville Tribunal, McGuinness’ narrative was polished so that while       he was not denying IRA membership in the early 1970′s, he insisted he had       left the organisation in 1974 or thereabouts. For reasons that defy       understanding his half-lie is paraded by some in the media as evidence of       his ethical superiority to Gerry Adams when in fact it is qualitatively       no different and arguably is worse.

Anyway here is the       YouTube video. The Mangold part is about half way through and starts at 4       minutes 30 seconds. Enjoy:

The Broken Elbow | September 12,       2013 at 10:59 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

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