DEPUTY FIRST Minister Martin McGuinness has spoken of his pride at being an IRA volunteer – and says he would have been ashamed not to have been.
In an interview to be broadcast on Sunday night the Derry politician says he was at war because of discrimination.
Asked about why he became involved in the Republican Movement, Martin McGuinness says: “I believed that in a situation where the community that I came from were being treated like second and third class citizens, that I had a responsibility to fight back against it.
“And I don’t apologise to anybody for having done that.
“I think it was the right thing to do.
“My community was at war with the RUC and at war with those who were enforcing the inequalities and discrimination that people were being subjected to.”
Mr McGuinness was speaking to veteran journalist Eamonn Mallie.
He went on: “I think you have to consider the circumstances that existed in my city [Derry] at the time…I would have felt ashamed if I had not been part of resistance and part of fighting back against the forces of the state … I’m very proud that I was a part of the IRA in Derry.
“I am still, 40 years on, proud that I was a member of the IRA. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and sit here and say something different.”
Martin McGuinness’ full interview with Eamonn Mallie will air on ‘Irish TV’ (Sky Channel 191) on Sunday at 10pm. It can also be viewed live on www.irishtv.ie