For many years there has been a movement intent on deodorizing Martin McGuinness’ legacy of mass murder during his 30 years as an IRA leader and chosen career as a direct and indirect executioner and unmatched liar.
There were many occasions when bloody bodies were carried into homes in Derry/Londonderry and the householders were not always even sympathetic to the IRA.
In August of 1971, one of the first young IRA volunteers killed in the city – murdered by a fellow IRA volunteer in a deliberate shooting in the Waterside – was 16 years old James “Jim” O’Hagan.
After Director of the Pat Finucane Centre, Paul O’Connor, shot Jim in the chest in a barn in the plush gated community of Deanfield overlooking the River Foyle, Jim’s profusely bleeding body was carried across to O’Connor’s mother’s home and dumped on a bedroom floor where he basically bled to death – while Paul and other IRA volunteers scarpered from Deanfield and from justice and went ‘on the run’.
[To be slightly fair to Paul O’Connor, he has always claimed that an IRA volunteer whom he had recruited into the IRA had shot Jim O’Hagan, a volunteer who also did a runner – that was 16 years old Jonathan Lorenc, another wealthy Deanfield boyo who escaped to the United States and who, although on a police wanted register for many years, was never extradited to face justice.]
In March of 1972, two teenage Derry Brigade IRA volunteers, Colm Keenan and Eugene McGillan, were shot by British Army snipers after a nightime gunbattle in the Bogside as they left a local family’s home in Dove Gardens.
The householder, not a member of the IRA, carried Colm Keenan back into his house where Keenan bled profusely from a head wound on the kitchen floor before he died.
In May of 1973, injured by a premature letter bomb explosion in Creggan and bleeding profusely from wounds in the hands and face, an injured IRA volunteer was removed from the scene in a hijacked bread van and taken to a District Nurse’s home in West End Park in the Bogside where armed IRA volunteers unceremoniously asked her to treat him.
I was the IRA volunteer carried bleeding profusely into the house in West End Park a few hundred yards from Martin McGuinness’ home.
While I was being treated there, another IRA volunteer fired an RPG rocket launcher from nearby Marlborough Street at a British Army sandbag post. The unexpected backblast from the rocket launcher knocked this IRA volunteer unconscious and he lay in a back lane with head wounds as his comrades fled without him.
A big man, SDLP councillor and former docker’s leader Tommy O’Hara [uncle of later INLA hungerstriker Patsy O’Hara], not an IRA supporter, found the injured and bleeding IRA man in his back lane and carried him into his home before the British Army arrived to investigate.
The injured IRA volunteer, “Jon Bloggs”, [who later resigned from the IRA and never looked back] was shortly afterwards carried bleeding into the home of the same District Nurse for treatment and then there were two of us in her home – this District Nurse’s husband had only recently finished his term in the Royal Air Force.
All in all, it was not unusual or unprecedented for bleeding persons to be carried into homes in Derry as a result of shootings or bombings gone wrong.
There was one category of bleeding victim that it might have been too dangerous to carry into anyone’s home and this victim type involved those summarily executed by the IRA whether as informers or as persons who were regarded as potential informers.
Under Martin McGuinness’ merciless rule over the so-called “Free Derry” no-go area, certain local people were fair game for abduction, torture and summary execution.
On August 8, 1973, Creggan man Patrick Duffy, a father of seven children, took his wife to Buncrana in County Donegal to celebrate their wedding anniversary. As he sat in a pub with his wife, she left to get some fish and chips and when she returned Patrick Duffy had disappeared.
Buncrana was the well-known resort in Donegal for on-the-run Derry Brigade IRA members and it was also the conduit for virtually all of the arms and explosives that were smuggled into Derry City during thirty years of troubles.
IRA members lived openly in cottages, caravans and flats, largely untroubled by Irish police.
Martin McGuinness’ mother’s home was just outside Buncrana in a townland called The Illies.
Martina Anderson, who had skipped bail on weapon and explosives’ charges in Derry and who was later arrested in Glasgow on a bombing run aimed at English seaside resorts, lived openly in a flat adjacent to the bus depot in Buncrana when she was not on bombing jobs in England.
As Patrick Duffy’s wife tried to publicise her husband’s disappearance or abduction, the Derry Brigade of the IRA – that is, Martin McGuinness personally – announced in a local newspaper advert that it had executed Duffy as an informer after having tortured him into a series of admissions in Donegal.
McGuinness – recently introduced to Gerry Adams of the Belfast Brigade – tried his hand at disappearing the corpse of Patrick Duffy in bogland in Donegal that he knew so well.
Mrs Duffy, largely aided by John Hume and a local priest, campaigned for the return of her husband’s corpse.
A number of Derry IRA members interned in Long Kesh contacted McGuinness via a smuggled letter and demanded that Duffy’s corpse should be returned to his family for burial and threatened to go public with their criticism of his actions. [See here.]
McGuinness did a characteristic U-turn and he and others went to the bog where they had buried Patrick Duffy, dug up his rotting remains, put them in a coffin and dumped his corpse a few yards north of the border that was so useful to the IRA.
A pathologist recorded that Duffy’s corpse showed no less than 7 bullet wounds.
Forty-one years of lies later, when being interviewed on RTE’s Marian Finucane radio program in 2014, Martin McGuinness was asked about the IRA’s policy of disappearing the corpses of men and women it tortured and summarily executed.
McGuinness claimed he had no knowledge of the policy:
Believing that no-one would contradict his enormous lies – or that few would be able to remember any details to contradict him – McGuinness claimed that when Patrick Duffy was abucted, tortured and executed he was in Portlaoise prison and not involved in the matter.
Enter former “hooded man” internee and Derry Brigade Staff member Mickey Donnelly – one of those who had contacted McGuinness from Long Kesh warning him to return Duffy’s body to his wife and family.
Mickey publicly contradicted McGuinness’ claim to have been in prison – he even produced a “Derry Journal” newspaper cutting reporting McGuinness as having spoken at an IRA commemoration in Derry city days after Patrick Duffy’s summary execution at which McGuinness’ companion IRA bozo Barney McFadden had ridiculed a local catholic priest’s call for the return of Patrick Duffy’s body.
Other well-known IRA members chimed in with their recollections that McGuinness was in the command structure of the Derry Brigade of the IRA when Patrick Duffy was abducted, tortured and executed.
Caught out by his own kind, McGuinness gave his usual denial laced with more lies – the “brief period” he was on the run was in fact 9 months long:
Regardless of witnesses, even fellow IRA witnesses, regardless of evidence – even publicised and recorded evidence – Martin continued to do what he did to the end of his days – to lie for the cause to save his own ass.
Not only did McGuiness oversee and participate in the abduction, torture and execution of Patrick Duffy – and in the attempted disappearance of his corpse – but he also a few weeks later oversaw the abduction, torture and summary execution of another Derryman, James Brown of the Brandywell.
James was well-known to be a very suggestible person – some would have used unkind terms to describe him – ‘simple’ or ‘intellectually disabled’.
James was abducted close to his home and tortured in a local house; the following evening he was bundled into a car and driven past his own home, was shot twice in the head and dumped out of the car.
The car then reversed over him as he lay dying.
A year later, three inquests occurred on the same day for three persons murdered by the IRA in Derry, including 9 years old William Gallagher of Creggan:
Martin McGuinness was nothing less than a mass murderer and proven liar many times over.
I don’t know enough about Jane Fona to offer an opinion.
But it is quite possible that a bleeding body was carried into Martin McGuinness’ house.
Martin personally sent hundreds of people to their bloody deaths without flinching.
That’s what makes him a hero to many.
That’s what earned him unprecedented Catholic church funeral honours from Bishop Donal McKeown and Archbishop Eamon Martin.
He didn’t flinch from mass murder.
He never repented.