Ex-IRA convict Anthony McIntyre has said Martin McGuinness’s death will not make “any difference” when it comes to uncovering the truth behind the Troubles.
“I don’t think it was going to happen no matter how long he lived,” he told the News Letter.
“I don’t think they’re going to disclose about their past.
“Truth recovery up north is about recrimination, not reconciliation. There is nothing to be gained for them in term of exposing themselves if recrimination is the goal.
“This is why we have these endless demands for British soldiers to be brought in front of the courts for Bloody Sunday and a range of other activities.
“This strategy of [Sinn Fein seeking] prosecutions actually helps keep secrets hidden, because people won’t come forward while the threat of prosecution exists.
“I long ago gave up on the question of any effective truth recovery process. They want the truth – on behalf of others.”
He said the continued focus upon uncovering truth through the criminal courts – which demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction – is a failure.
“That’s no way to enter into a truth recovery process; you have to go for a balance of probability, and the balance of probability is not courtroom-standard evidence,” he said.
In summary, when it comes to the impact his death will have on learning the truth, Mr McIntyre said: “I don’t think it makes any difference.
“There has to be generosity, and I don’t think there is any generosity in the north.”
Mr McIntyre himself served a 17 year sentence for murdering Kenneth Lenaghan.
A member of the UVF, the book ‘Lost Lives’ said Lenaghan (34) died after being shot from a passing car (along with three other men) while standing outside a pub in south Belfast on February 27, 1976.
Mr McIntyre also says he served another year-and-a-half in jail for other IRA activities.
Today he is a writer and a prominent critic of Sinn Fein. He is also behind the Boston College project, the controversial US-based scheme to record the stories of former paramilitaries - including their misdeeds - with the idea being that they remain secret until their deaths.
When it comes to Mr McGuinness himself, Mr McIntyre said he was “a very important figure in the history of this country; a man who was quite prepared to use violence against a very violent state - and I’m not going to condemn him for using that violence”.
Lost Lives records that, between 1966 and 2006, republicans killed more than 2,100 people.
The security forces by contrast killed 367.