19/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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Martin McGuinness is stepping down from politics for


Our main story tonight: Martin McGuinness announces he will not


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


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


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


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


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


to the news and analysis from our political


Also tonight: A DUP Special Advisor accused of exerting influence


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


resigned as Special Advisor in the department of agriculture.


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


The gloom has started to lift for some.


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


A former Provisional IRA commander who ended up shaking


hands with the Queen, Martin McGuinness today said


he will not be standing again for election.


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


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


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


to prompt a snap election, a move in itself triggered


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


He made his announcement in his home city this afternoon.


He is a man who sharply divided views.


Many could not forgive his past, but others were amazed


at his journey from the violence of the Bogside, here


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


Our political editor, Mark Devenport, who will be


joining us shortly, spoke to Martin McGuinness this


afternoon and asked him first about his decision not


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


fighting this selection with the intensity that elections need to be


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


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


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


politics has come at the time when the Stormont institutions have


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


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


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


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


that serious questions have been asked about the handling of


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


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


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


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


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


Championships, the soccer championships in France this year,


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


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


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


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


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


a general transition in the leadership. How long will Gerry


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


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


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


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


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


declaration of our intent to ensure that the transition process


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


city where people were being murdered at the RUC, murdered


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


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


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


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


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


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


many many thousands of letters and messages of support right throughout


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


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


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


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


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


came suddenly today. Mervyn Jess looks back


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Republic prior rate membership and afterwards was less candid about his


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


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


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


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


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


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


Gerry Adams he was instrumental in leading republicans towards


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


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


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


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


nominate Martin McGuinness plus as Minister for education. His first


post as Education Minister was defined by the scrapping of the


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


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


appointment as Deputy First Minister, along with Ian Paisley as


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


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


Minister is Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster for a businesslike and


at times acrimonious. Giving evidence to the Bloody Sunday


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


continued to dog him while canvassing for the presidency of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


recognised or reciprocated by Unionist became a source of tension


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


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


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


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


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


It is a political project, not a military one.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


generational change underway and whoever that generation is the wolf


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


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


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


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


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


accused of exerting influence in the Renewable Heat Incentive


scheme has resigned. Yesterday, a senior


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


he understood the adviser Dr Andrew Crawford was the person


who influenced the decision to keep Today, Arlene Foster


announced his resignation. She also said she welcomed a move


by the Finance Minister, Mairtin O Muilleoir,


who is to bring forward plans for a public inquiry


into the RHI scheme. Here is our political


correspondent Stephen Walker. Another day of drama at Stormont


that involved the fallout from the renewable heating scheme. Doctor


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


political casualty. Yesterday, a senior civil servants said that


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


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


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


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


that given what occurred yesterday and indeed today that he was


becoming a distraction to the important work not only of his


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


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


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


this statement. Before Andrew Cropper design, the


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


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


shortcomings in the enquiries act, so for example ministerial


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


perception of a conflict of interest.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


People this morning were still arguing if a public enquiry was


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


aside at the time when these institutions which he invested so


much are actually in such a precarious situation. From my


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


McGuinness was not seeking re-election public this afternoon.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


calling for a public enquiry since before Christmas. Mairtin O


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


thank you. With me now is the Reverend David


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


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


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


unusual for our church to be spattered with paint a different


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


particular mention about that support from Protestants during his


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


nationalists and republicans young people, but for young people within


the Unionist and loyalist communities. I described him as a


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


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


you. David Latimer was talking the about


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


cloudy on Sunday that the only drive.


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