19th April 14:02
Ex-IRA man's claims "are lies"
A former IRA man has told "a tissue of lies" to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry,
a barrister representing Martin McGuinness has said.
Barra McGrory was responding to claims made by Paddy Ward, who has been
addressing the inquiry from behind screens for a second day on Tuesday.
The inquiry is examining the events of 30 January 1972 when 13 civilians
were shot dead by soldiers during a civil rights march in Londonderry.
Another man died later from his injuries.
Mr Ward has claimed that he was the leader of the Fianna, the junior wing of
the IRA in Derry, and that he distributed 16 nailbombs on Bloody Sunday with
the help of Martin McGuinness.
The Sinn Fein MP confirmed in his first statement to the tribunal that he
was a senior member of the IRA at the time.
Mr McGrory suggested to Mr Ward that he was a "nonentity" and that his
evidence was "a complete and utter fabrication and a tissue of lies".
Mr Ward said he rejected the suggestion, and claimed that other former IRA
members had been coerced into making statements to discredit him.
Mr Ward earlier gave to the inquiry names of several people whom he claims
were in the junior wing of the IRA at the time of Bloody Sunday.
It is understood Mr Ward also named a number of other individuals whom he
claims were senior members of the IRA at the time.
The names were given to the tribunal in private by Mr Ward, and they will
not be disclosed.
Lord Saville of Newdigate and the Commonwealth judges accompanying him on
the Bloody Sunday inquiry began their work nearly four years ago.
They are not expected to report back until next year.
The Bloody Sunday Inquiry was established in 1998 by Prime Minister Tony
Blair after a campaign by families of those killed and injured.
They felt that the Widgery Inquiry, held shortly after the shootings, did
not find out the truth about what happened on Bloody Sunday.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to
have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb
contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin