The Sunday World was ejected from the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis when we asked Martin McGuiness to explain how one of their senior press officers claimed to know the killers of Garda Adrian Donohoe and those also behind two other unsolved murders.
The Sinn Fein man behind the comment did not explain to the Gardai who are investigating the matter how he came by the information about the murder of a serving garda.
After being refused access to Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in relation to the extraordinary statements made last August by press officer Mark McLernon – where he claimed to know “for a fact” the killers of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in a recorded phone call – the Sunday World confronted Martin McGuinness at the Ard Fheis.
The comments by long-time Sinn Fein official McLernon are now being investigated by the National Criminal Bureau of Investigation, but Sinn Fein showed scant interest in explaining their origin.
Sad: Garda Adrian Donohoe is laid to rest
Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister McGuinness told us it was a matter for Gerry Adams as Garda Donohoe came from his constituency. Sinn Fein has consistently swerved the comments by its senior press officer who has since said what he claimed as “fact” was now actually just “hearsay”.
Martin McGuinness said that Gerry Adams had “given countless interviews on the matter” where he denied the party had any knowledge of the circumstances of people behind the death of Detective Garda Donohoe.
“I don’t know anything about this [the statements of McLernon],” McGuinness said as we caught up with him in the Wexford Opera House at the weekend.
“I am a MLA [Member of Legislative Assembly] and Deputy First Minister, I don’t deal with this,” he said.