19/01/2017 BBC Newsline


19/01/2017

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Martin McGuinness is stepping down from politics for

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Our main story tonight: Martin McGuinness announces he will not

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The man who went from IRA commander to meeting the Queen tells us why

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Really, have been dealing with this health situation for the last couple

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of months. It is a very illness. It has taken its toll on me, but I'm

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It has taken its toll on me, but I'm very determined to overcome it.

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I'm live on Derry's Walls, where I'll be getting reaction

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to the news and analysis from our political

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Also tonight: A DUP Special Advisor accused of exerting influence

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I have this afternoon being notified that Doctor Andrew Croft Road has

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resigned as Special Advisor in the department of agriculture.

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The green energy controversy burns on as the Sinn Fein Finance Minister

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The gloom has started to lift for some.

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West is best, but it could be cold there tonight?

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A former Provisional IRA commander who ended up shaking

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hands with the Queen, Martin McGuinness today said

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he will not be standing again for election.

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He has been one of the dominant figures of the last five decades.

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In recent weeks, of course, despite a serious health condition,

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the 65-year-old is said to have had a key role in Sinn Fein's decision

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to prompt a snap election, a move in itself triggered

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by his resignation, after ten years, as Deputy First Minister.

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He made his announcement in his home city this afternoon.

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He is a man who sharply divided views.

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Many could not forgive his past, but others were amazed

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at his journey from the violence of the Bogside, here

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behind me, in the late 60s, to the grandeur of Windsor Castle.

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Our political editor, Mark Devenport, who will be

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joining us shortly, spoke to Martin McGuinness this

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afternoon and asked him first about his decision not

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In the aftermath of the Assembly elections last year I agreed to stay

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on. I was honoured to be asked to stay on as Deputy First Minister. I

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said I would do it for a further year, bringing me to the 8th of May

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this year, which would've been the tenth anniversary of into government

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with Ian Paisley, which was an historic moment. I thought I was an

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appropriate time for me to stand aside as Deputy First Minister and

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make way for the new Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister, but, of

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course, the best laid plans of mice and men came into play. We have had

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two situations to deal with, I have had two situations to deal with. One

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is the crisis at Stormont, and my own health problems, which have come

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after that. Really, I have been dealing with this health situation

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for the last couple of months. It is a very serious illness. It has taken

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its toll on me. But I am very determined to overcome it. The

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question I ask myself is, are you capable, physically capable of

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fighting this selection with the intensity that elections need to be

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thought? Be honest answer is I am not physically capable or able to

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fight this election, so I will not be a candidate in the upcoming

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election. Aren't you disappointed that your decision to retire from

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politics has come at the time when the Stormont institutions have

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effectively collapsed and how hard do you think it will be to restore

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them? I think they are restorable. If there is a will to face up to not

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go back to the starter's gun will. I think that poses particular

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challenges to everybody, but more so to the DUP in terms of recognising

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that serious questions have been asked about the handling of

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different situations in the course of recent times, so I think that is

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a particular disappointment. I don't actually remember the last time I

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heard a member of the DUP use the word reconciliation. A particular

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disappointment to me in this, a small point in relation to the big

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act of reconciliation I have been involved in, prior to the European

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Championships, the soccer championships in France this year,

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we suggested to the DUP that Arlene and I should travel to France and go

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together to Ireland game, to a public game, and they refused to go.

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I wasn't asking her to go to 1916 commemorative, it was a football

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match. It was an opportunity to reach out and Arlene went to the

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Northern Ireland match and I went to both. Sinn Fein have been discussing

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a general transition in the leadership. How long will Gerry

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Adams remain a place as party president? Will he also handed over

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to a new generation? We have been seriously engaged on this matter and

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that all previous my taken ill. I think that from my perspective, and

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Jerry's perspective, our plan is in place and that will unfold over

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time. I have taken the first step. It certainly represents a serious

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declaration of our intent to ensure that the transition process

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continues. Gerry Adams is not going to jump at the behest of people who

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are writing the newspapers are mounting this, that and the other.

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It will be done according to the plan we have laid out. Your journey

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has been remarkable from the early days when you are open about your

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role within the IRA, to the later days when you have been seen as a

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peacemaker. Looking back on that, do you regret anything about your

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endorsement of the use of violence to further your errands? People need

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to look at the circumstances in the city when I joined the IRA. It was a

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city where people were being murdered at the RUC, murdered

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wholesale as they were on bloody Sunday, but The Parachute Regiment,

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and the fact that many young people like myself, supported by many

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thousands of people in the city, not saying there was a majority, decided

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to fight back. I don't regret any of that. My journey has been a long

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journey. I have been over 25 years working on building the base.

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Epitomised I suppose the fact that since I have taken ill I have had

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many many thousands of letters and messages of support right throughout

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the community, but the ones that mean a lot to me in all of that

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either many, many messages that have come from Protestant churchmen ride

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across the churches, from ordinary Protestant people, and the fact that

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I am in the prayer is says something about the impact I hope I have made

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it with my will to reach out. The end of Martin McGuinness' career

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came suddenly today. Mervyn Jess looks back

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on a life that went He started out as an IRA leader from

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the bogside in Derry and became the Deputy First Minister of the

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power-sharing assembly at Stormont. It was in the early 1970s that

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Martin McGuinness first came to prominence in the media. As the

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officer commanding the very part of the IRA operation, can't you say if

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the bombing is likely to stop the near future due to public demand? We

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will always take into consideration the feelings of the people of Derry.

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Raised in the bogside in the early 1950s as one of the large Catholic

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nationalist family, his father, William, was a foundry worker and

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his mother Peggy a housewife and mother of seven. As confidence grew

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in the city, young Martin McGuinness join the IRA and move quickly

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through its ranks. He was part of an Irish delegation involved with

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secret talks with William Whitelaw in London. He was jailed in the

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Republic prior rate membership and afterwards was less candid about his

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role within the republican movement. I have never said that I was in the

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IRA. Reports that they have been in the IRA are rung true but I regard

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them as a compliment. The bombings and killings continued and by the

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early 1980s Martin McGuinness was standing for election in Jim prior's

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assembly, but did not renounce the IRA campaign. At the end of the day

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it will be the cutting edge of IRA that will bring freedom. Along with

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Gerry Adams he was instrumental in leading republicans towards

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political compromise by recognising the Dail, but only the Dail. As part

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of the Sinn Fein peace strategy had been involved in protracted integral

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talks with the British government. He results of the party's chief

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negotiator during the drawing up of the Good Friday Agreement. I

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nominate Martin McGuinness plus as Minister for education. His first

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post as Education Minister was defined by the scrapping of the

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11-Plus exam. In January 2007, Sinn Fein through its support behind the

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new Police Service of Northern Ireland, paving the way for its

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appointment as Deputy First Minister, along with Ian Paisley as

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First Minister. This most unlikely combination got done by the media as

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the chuckle Brothers. No surrender! I ever, his relationships with First

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Minister is Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster for a businesslike and

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at times acrimonious. Giving evidence to the Bloody Sunday

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inquiry, he admitted being in the IRA and his paramilitary past

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continued to dog him while canvassing for the presidency of

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Ireland. I want justice for my father. I believe that you know the

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names of the killers of my father and I want you to tell me who they

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are. Sinn Fein boycotted the Queen's first visit to the Republic but when

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she came to Belfast the following year Martin McGuinness was one of

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those who welcomed her to the city. It was an encounter that was to be

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repeated several times in the years ahead. How are you keeping? Fine,

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thank you very much. His view that these gestures were not sufficiently

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recognised or reciprocated by Unionist became a source of tension

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with Arlene Foster. When he resigned his post as Deputy First Minister

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earlier this month, he cited DUP arrogance among the reasons for it.

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Martin McGuinness's departure is a pivotal moment in politics within

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these islands. Until the day I retire from politics or die, is to

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build a better future for all of our people. It is a political project,

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It is a political project, not a military one.

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Mark Devenport is with me now. After speaking to Martin McGuinness this

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afternoon, did it seem like the end of his political career? He didn't

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use the word retirement but that is the way of felt. It felt that the

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end of an era. His close family was there, his wife, his son, one of his

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brothers to support him during this it was clear that what he still

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envisages ambassadorial role, he will not be in the front line

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politics and I would imagine those around him might be saying take some

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time to overcome this illness. He tantalised us, the offers they have

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the name of the new Northern leader, his successor, but they won't say

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who that might be. They also have a date in mind for Gerry Adams to step

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down. Again, they would reveal the details. Surely there is a

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generational change underway and whoever that generation is the wolf

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is uncertain times. We can only hope that they won't have to face the

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times that Martin McGuinness has been through. He still looked frail.

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He looked weak, but maybe stronger than on the day when he resigned as

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Deputy First Minister. He looked stronger today. That is all from

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Derry's walls of the moment. A DUP Special Adviser who has been

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accused of exerting influence in the Renewable Heat Incentive

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scheme has resigned. Yesterday, a senior

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civil servant said that, although he had no direct evidence,

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he understood the adviser Dr Andrew Crawford was the person

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who influenced the decision to keep Today, Arlene Foster

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announced his resignation. She also said she welcomed a move

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by the Finance Minister, Mairtin O Muilleoir,

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who is to bring forward plans for a public inquiry

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into the RHI scheme. Here is our political

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correspondent Stephen Walker. Another day of drama at Stormont

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that involved the fallout from the renewable heating scheme. Doctor

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Andrew Crawford, who was at DUP Special Advisor, became the first

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political casualty. Yesterday, a senior civil servants said that

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although he had no direct evidence, he understood that Doctor Robert was

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the only influence the decision to keep the heating scheme running,

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something that Doctor Crawford denied. He was once Arlene Foster's

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Special Advisor. Today she announced his resignation. Andrew has felt

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that given what occurred yesterday and indeed today that he was

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becoming a distraction to the important work not only of his

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Minister but indeed he was becoming the story and anybody who knows

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Andrew Crawford knows that he is a very private person and he certainly

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didn't want to become the story. Tonight, Andrew Crawford released

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this statement. Before Andrew Cropper design, the

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Finance Minister announced was to set up a public enquiry under the

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Inquiries Act, something that Sinn Fein previously opposed. There are

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shortcomings in the enquiries act, so for example ministerial

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interference. I am making a pledge today I will not interfere in any

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way. It is also delivered to the minister, so I am making a pledge

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nine that we would ensure that any report will go direct to the public.

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Sinn Fein's decision was welcomed by Arlene Foster who said she was

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delighted an investigation would be established. I am pleased that an

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enquiry will be set up and finally we will get some due process in and

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around these matters and we will get to the truth of what happens in

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relation to the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. As I have always

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said and was confirmed yesterday in committee, I have nothing to hide.

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The SDLP have welcomed the news about the enquiry, the Ulster

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unionists want to know what its terms of reference will be. It is

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another twist in a story that has dominated the headlines for the past

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month. Today's news about the departure of iron to Crawford comes

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after the Spotlight fell on another Special Advisor. John Robinson is

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departure we step aside, withdrawn from any future involvement in the

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scheme after failing to declare her family link. His father in law

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receives money from the scheme for two boilers, but he declares he has

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the personal financial interest in the scheme and has not benefited.

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The DDB says Mr Robinson is part of his tapping aside to avoid the

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perception of a conflict of interest.

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Let's hear from Naomi Long, the leader of the Alliance Party. What

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is your reaction to this news of the public enquiry finally being

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announced? I have to say I am hugely frustrated that after a month of

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calling for once we had two ministers rushing to try to get the

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public enquiry over the line this evening. You do have to wonder if

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there is such enthusiasm for a public enquiry not why I couldn't

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have been done in a more timely fashion in December. I have written

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to Simon Hamilton and Mairtin O Muilleoir to set up what we believe

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is believe are the basic terms and conditions required so that the

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public will have confidence in that enquiry, because it is in the case

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of both parties it is a fig leaf to cover embarrassment before they can

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go to the polls in March. Will it take some of the heat of the DUP

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when it comes to the doorsteps of the election campaign? Though, I

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don't. If they have the public enquiry at the time we would not

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have had this corrosive drip feed of information into the public domain.

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I think that has been the most damaging aspect of this entire

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tobacco. What we needed to do was deal with this in a timely and

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mature way. We have collapsed or institutions at Stormont over this.

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People this morning were still arguing if a public enquiry was

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necessary. You can almost smell the burning rubber from the U-turns that

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have been done on this issue over the last couple of weeks. It is

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ridiculous. Public patient has been tried to its limit. I don't figure

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that will take the heat off, it simply confirms that the only

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interest that we have from the DUP as one of self-interest and

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self-preservation, it is not public interest or this would've been done

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in December. Turning to Martin McGuinness, it has been a sad

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note to his legacy? It is particularly sad that he is stepping

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aside at the time when these institutions which he invested so

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much are actually in such a precarious situation. From my

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perspective I want to wish you good health. I know that he has been ill

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and ankle that is something wrong with he can recover and is able to

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enjoy his retirement. I would also have to say that I want to thank him

:19:18.:19:21.

for the acts of generosity that he displayed on occasion, that were

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able to keep these institutions working and were able to build into

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the peace process. I hope that the next generation of people coming

:19:30.:19:32.

through will be able to return that spirit of generosity that we saw,

:19:33.:19:37.

for example between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness as we need it now.

:19:38.:19:47.

We asked the DUP and the Ulster Unionist to take part in the

:19:48.:19:51.

programme this evening, but no one was available. The news that Martin

:19:52.:19:59.

McGuinness was not seeking re-election public this afternoon.

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This is the reaction from some people on the streets of Derry. He

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has done a good job over the years. I think he was pushed into making

:20:09.:20:12.

some sort of decision by the heating thing. I think he has done a good

:20:13.:20:18.

job over the years and he has to relax now, he has done is better and

:20:19.:20:22.

some of them younger people need to come to an stand-up. I don't really

:20:23.:20:25.

follow politics, to be honest with you. The man's help us to be as

:20:26.:20:33.

primary concern. I think because he is sick it is probably the right

:20:34.:20:38.

thing to do. Health comes first. I think that he should do that, but

:20:39.:20:41.

that leaves us in turmoil, definitely. God only knows where we

:20:42.:20:43.

are going from here. Colum Eastwood joins me now. I

:20:44.:20:57.

suppose that is good news for you that he will be running for

:20:58.:21:01.

re-election. First of all want to say we are all thinking of him and

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we hope to get time and space to fight this latest battle. I have

:21:07.:21:11.

always find Martin to be very respectful of me and very warm to me

:21:12.:21:15.

and I have always got on with them on a personal basis. Of course we

:21:16.:21:21.

have political differences, but I am worried about him in terms of his

:21:22.:21:25.

health in which all the best. But politically speaking, does that the

:21:26.:21:31.

door for SDLP in the city? This isn't a night for talking about

:21:32.:21:36.

politics in that way. It is important that we remember what

:21:37.:21:40.

journey he has been on. I always thought that he was someone who

:21:41.:21:45.

could speak beyond and act beyond his own electoral base, and I think

:21:46.:21:49.

that stood him and all of us in good stead. I want a repeat that we wish

:21:50.:21:54.

all the best. Can talk about the politics of adults Mothergate.

:21:55.:21:59.

Mairtin O Muilleoir lodged a public enquiry into the temp two scheme.

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What is your reaction? We are glad that he has done that. We have been

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calling for a public enquiry since before Christmas. Mairtin O

:22:10.:22:11.

Muilleoir argued against the public enquiry for a number of weeks, but

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it is important that we have done it. We need to get to the truth of

:22:16.:22:19.

all of this. In all of the political distraction over the last couple of

:22:20.:22:23.

weeks, people on the street want to know why the scheme was brought

:22:24.:22:27.

about in such a way, Wyatt is going to cost so much, who knew about it

:22:28.:22:34.

and what can be done about it. We didn't ask for an election. We

:22:35.:22:38.

wanted a full public enquiry into all of this and for Arlene Foster to

:22:39.:22:43.

step aside for that period. Hopefully, this enquiry will be

:22:44.:22:45.

allowed to be independent and could do its job quickly and effectively.

:22:46.:22:50.

We want to know the truth and hold people accountable. Colum Eastwood,

:22:51.:22:51.

thank you. With me now is the Reverend David

:22:52.:22:55.

Latimer, of First Derry You struck up a friendship of Martin

:22:56.:23:05.

McGuinness. I did that come about? First Derry is situated on the

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historic walls of the city, just adjacent to the bogside. It was not

:23:10.:23:13.

unusual for our church to be spattered with paint a different

:23:14.:23:17.

colours. On one occasion I thought we have to do something about this.

:23:18.:23:22.

It happened one evening and I was on the redo the next morning and they

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said there is only one person in this city who can sort this out, I

:23:26.:23:30.

said it is a man who wore a cap in the past I give him a lot of

:23:31.:23:34.

authority and I don't think he is lost in the event. Martin

:23:35.:23:38.

McGuinness. Within 20 minutes Sinn Fein called it said that Martin

:23:39.:23:42.

would like to meet you. The next morning we met in the first Derry

:23:43.:23:46.

Presbyterian Church. I was a bit nervous. I was struggling in the

:23:47.:23:52.

kitchen with tea bags and everything was going everywhere. I had this

:23:53.:23:57.

voice saying, David, do you want to do the storms and I look after the

:23:58.:24:03.

tea. Our common humanity seem to descend on us and that was the start

:24:04.:24:07.

of a friendship that has continued and grown for a decade. He made

:24:08.:24:13.

particular mention about that support from Protestants during his

:24:14.:24:16.

illness in his interview this afternoon. I am assuming that you're

:24:17.:24:23.

one of them. Yes. I have been inundated with phone calls and text

:24:24.:24:28.

messages and e-mails from people within the Protestant tradition and

:24:29.:24:31.

in those churches who seem to think I have an inside track into Martin.

:24:32.:24:37.

While I was saying nothing to them, I was sending all of this

:24:38.:24:41.

information to Martin and I was assuring him that prayers were being

:24:42.:24:46.

said that were valuing the role that he had played and for remembering

:24:47.:24:53.

him. I entered one of those text messages with these words, unless it

:24:54.:24:58.

are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God. He did divide

:24:59.:25:03.

opinion, but do you think he was a friendly new union of -- -- a friend

:25:04.:25:10.

to unionism? That's not look at the past, but the man he became. It is

:25:11.:25:16.

almost like a St Paul journey, the about turn and the passion

:25:17.:25:19.

associated with his journey to build a better future not just for

:25:20.:25:23.

nationalists and republicans young people, but for young people within

:25:24.:25:26.

the Unionist and loyalist communities. I described him as a

:25:27.:25:32.

true great leader of modern times and people but I my trolley. Look at

:25:33.:25:39.

the journey, what amount. He wants a place that is called no one. Thank

:25:40.:25:40.

you. David Latimer was talking the about

:25:41.:25:53.

the journey of Martin McGuinness. How do you view his journey? What a

:25:54.:25:58.

journey, from a man who'd used to walk the streets behind us on the

:25:59.:26:02.

bogside as an IRA commander to somebody who was present here on

:26:03.:26:07.

bloody Sunday, then to turn up at Windsor Castle at a banquet in

:26:08.:26:11.

honour of the Queen. Many people would see him as a politician who

:26:12.:26:15.

was not afraid to step outside their comfort zone and take a lot of

:26:16.:26:21.

criticism from many for doing that. Others will always see him as an IRA

:26:22.:26:26.

commander, a man whose fingerprints are all over the Troubles and there

:26:27.:26:29.

will be apathetic over his decision to walk away from politics tonight.

:26:30.:26:34.

He is a political animal and you may not be surprised to see the pops up

:26:35.:26:38.

again on the political radar at some stage in the future. He has four

:26:39.:26:42.

children and seven grandchildren and a passion for fishing, so I'm sure

:26:43.:26:46.

he would have lots of things to keep them occupied in the meantime. Back

:26:47.:26:52.

to you, on another important day in our political history.

:26:53.:26:59.

Most of us had dull, cloudy skies again today but there have been some

:27:00.:27:06.

subtle changes. We had sunnier skies across the Republic pushing up into

:27:07.:27:11.

western areas. We will have those clear spells for a time tonight. A

:27:12.:27:15.

lovely day parts of the West with blue skies. The clear spells

:27:16.:27:19.

lingering parts of the West, Clyde in the east. It is likely to stay

:27:20.:27:24.

that way through the night, the odd pocket of drizzle but in the drive.

:27:25.:27:27.

Further west with the clear spells linger could get close to freezing,

:27:28.:27:32.

and that could lead to some mist and fog patches and the odd of Frost. I

:27:33.:27:36.

have a feeling that the snowdrops and County Fermanagh are unlikely to

:27:37.:27:41.

be shivering by tomorrow morning. Eventually, the West End is at best

:27:42.:27:45.

a moral, but it is to begin with we have ploughed in the east and

:27:46.:27:50.

central areas and it will start to track its way towards the west but

:27:51.:27:54.

will start to clear as we head into the afternoon. Some Sun Chang moving

:27:55.:27:58.

into the south, and central areas. Parts of the East fairly cloudy with

:27:59.:28:03.

patchy drizzle, but not amounting to a great deal. Into tomorrow night,

:28:04.:28:10.

with more clear skies we will see how widespread frost developing.

:28:11.:28:14.

Into the weekend, it will be generally colder. Fine on Saturday,

:28:15.:28:17.

cloudy on Sunday that the only drive.

:28:18.:28:19.

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:28:20.:28:24.