Justice Minister Michael McDowell must “put up or shut up” over his allegations that senior members of Sinn Féin have been involved in IRA criminal activity, Martin McGuinness said today.
The Mid-Ulster Sinn Féin MP issued a challenge to Mr McDowell to substantiate claims he made in a series of interviews about Sinn Féin’s links to the provisionals.
Mr McGuinness said at Stormont the Progressive Democrat Minister’s comments were motivated by the forthcoming local government and European Parliament elections in the Republic.
He accused the Dublin minister of being “anti-working class” and “anti-republican”.
Mr McGuinness declared: “I am not going to stand by and listen to this rubbish from someone who calls himself an Irish Government Minister.
“I hear him making other allegations and I say to him either put it up or shut it up.
“It’s very well to make accusations but it is a whole other thing to substantiate those allegations.
“I think Michael McDowell needs to remember that he is the Minister for Justice. He is not the Minister for Judges and he is certainly not the Minister for Juries.”
Mr McDowell angered republicans at the weekend when he compared Sinn Féin’s links to the IRA with the Nazi Party in Germany during the Second World War.
He also alleged that members of Sinn Féin had been involved in criminal activity in Dublin.