Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have been urged to “come clean” about their past after a former IRA prisoner claimed they had given him orders to carry out bombings in England.
Peter Rogers, 69, claimed yesterday that Sinn Fein leaders Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness ordered him to transport explosives to England for a bombing campaign in 1980.
The claims prompted DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell yesterday to call on the Sinn Fein leaders to “fully admit the role they played within the IRA”.
Mr Rogers claimed he was summoned to meet Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness in the grounds of Trinity College Dublin in 1980 because he was reluctant to move an “unstable” liquid explosive to England. He feared he would be killed in a premature explosion or caught by police.
“When I met with them, Gerry wanted to know what the delay was,” Mr Rogers told the BBC. “I asked that they [the explosives] be replaced.”
He claimed that Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness listened and then conferred out of earshot before coming back to him.
“Gerry said ‘look Peter, we can’t replace that explosive, you will have to go with what you have and as soon as you can get it across, the better’, so as far as I was concerned, I was given a direct order,” Mr Rogers said.
Sinn Fein yesterday denied Mr Rogers’ allegations.
A spokesman for the PSNI said the alleged meeting took place in the Republic of Ireland and would therefore be a matter for the Gardai.
Mr Rogers added that a short time after the alleged meeting, Garda detectives stopped his van containing the explosives in Wexford. There ensued a gun battle in which he says he shot dead Detective Garda Seamus Quaid, for which he was jailed.
Asked yesterday what he would say to denials from the Sinn Fein leaders about the alleged meeting, he replied: “Over the years there have been so many lies told in order to get to where they are at the present time with the peace process.”
He added: “I would say that they are suffering from Alzhemiers or something like that. They definitely were there.”
Mr Campbell said Mr Rogers has now joined “a long line” of republicans implicating Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness in IRA terrorism.
“The latest revelation from former IRA prisoner Peter Rogers that he had been instructed by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness to carry out a bombing in England in 1980 is further evidence of Sinn Fein’s attempt to live in denial about their past,” he said.
The MP noted Mr Adams’ denials that he was ever in the IRA and Mr McGuinness’ claims that he left it in the early 1970s. The DUP member noted that Mr McGuinness has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the IRA Claudy bombing, having a sub machine gun on Bloody Sunday and the murder of two police officers three days before Bloody Sunday.
“Rogers is the latest in a long line of former associates who have implicated both men,” Mr Campbell added.
“How long will they continue their pretence? The terror happened, it’s now over. They need to admit their part in it, face whatever consequence there may be and move on.”
The two Sinn Fein leaders yesterday declined to be interviewed.
A spokesman said: “There is no truth in these allegations. Gerry Adams has already publicly refuted these claims.”