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McGuinness War Crimes To Answer

Dr Ed Walsh

Dr Ed Walsh is the founding president of the University of Limerick and has been conferred by his peers with an Honorary Doctorate, confirming him as a person of exceptional quality.

Amongst his many contributions to this island, Dr Walsh has served as founding Chairman of the Irish Council for Science Technology and Innovation, the National Technological Park, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Citywest’s Growcorp and the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland.  He has also served as chairman of the Conference of Heads of Irish Universities and of Shannon Development.

Those close to him, regard his name as synonymous with ground-breaking advances in third level education in Ireland and he is highly regarded both as an educational visionary and a transformational policy influencer.

As a lover of Ireland, combined with his love of fact, logic and truth, it comes therefore as no great surprise to most, that Dr Ed Walsh, given a suitable forum, would launch a blistering attack on Sinn Féin’s presidential candidate Mr Martin McGuinness.

James Martin Pacelli McGuinness has admitted to being a member of the IRA during the 1970’s. He originally joined the Official IRA, possibly in 1969, but switched to the Provisional IRA a short time later, when the organisation split. In 1973, he was convicted by the Republic of Ireland’s Special Criminal Court, after being caught with a car containing 250 lb (or 113 kg) of explosives and nearly 5,000 rounds of ammunition. He refused to recognise the Irish court, and was sentenced to six months imprisonment. After his release, and following another conviction in the Republic, for IRA membership, he became increasingly prominent in Sinn Féin, the political wing of the republican movement. McGuinness now believes he should be rewarded by holding the post of President of Ireland.

Dr Walsh told his audience at a literary festival in Tipperary last Friday night that “Standing before the judges in The Hague, answering questions, related to war crimes and IRA activities, would appear to be more fitting that standing before the Irish electorate, seeking to represent the highest office in the Republic.”

Dr Walsh continued “Mr McGuinness has serious questions to answer regarding IRA activities, the IRA’s killing of 644 civilians, sadistic torture, kneecapping, kidnapping and the arbitrary destruction of the lives of its victims, are in clear contravention of the fourth Geneva Convention. Whatever about McGuinness’s direct involvement with acts classified as war crimes, he was in a position of authority within the IRA, during most of the Northern conflict.

Dr Walsh went on to say that the IRA had incinerated people at the La Mon restaurant, their victims included children and they had practised torture, including using kangaroo courts, all of which were considered war crimes.

For those with short memories, the device used at the La Mon Restaurant on 17th February 1978, was a small blast bomb attached to two large petrol canisters, each filled with a type of home made napalm like substance of petrol mixed with sugar. This substance was designed to stick to whoever and whatever it hit, thus causing severe burn injuries to human flesh. Twelve innocent people were killed that night, seven of whom were women and a further thirty were injured, many of them critically.  Most of the victims were members of the Irish Collie Club and the Northern Ireland Junior Motor Cycle Club, which were both staging meetings in the restaurant. Some of those injured are still receiving treatment some 23 years later.

Referring to the peace process Dr Walsh stated: “Hume facilitated the entry of IRA/Sinn Féin into the peace process, in return for which they undertook to decommission IRA arms and disband the IRA and its Army Council. The former has been delivered, but there are questions regarding the latter.

He further stated that the IRA’s long-term objective was control of Dublin, not of Belfast, and while the IRA Army Council may be dormant, we as citizens should see no reason to relax. As long as the IRA remain in existence, so too, one must assume, does its strategy of using the ‘Armalite and the Ballot Box‘ to achieve its goals.  While Sinn Fein had made excellent progress in recent years using the ballot box, should they ever fail to get their way at some future juncture, there is a very real danger that they would reactivate their earlier activities.

Dr Walsh warned that “Democracy was a fragile thing, that was particularly vulnerable at times when Nations were under stress. We have seen the consequences in Europe when countries are overtaken by people who don’t believe in democracy, but in guns“.

A couple of people unable to take the heat, walked out during his speech, to which Dr Walsh commented, “He has some supporters here, too.”

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