Martin McGuinness has acknowledged he was wrong about a claim that he was in jail at the time of a notorious murder.
The Deputy First Minister had said in an RTE broadcast on May 31 that he was in prison at the time Patrick Duffy was “disappeared” in 1973.
But at the weekend, Mr McGuinness said that, on reflection, he had not actually been in custody at the time.
In a statement, he said: “The facts are that I served a six-month sentence in Portlaoise jail in 1973 and another in 1974 and during the Marian Finucane interview, I mistakenly recalled that Patrick Duffy was killed and his body secretly buried, while I was in prison.
“I now know that these events occurred in August 1973, in the brief period when I was ‘on the run’, between these two prison sentences.
“I think it is understandable that after a period of four decades my recollection of the exact detail of dates and times was not accurate.
“However, I reject any accusation that I ‘lied’ about this or about my opposition to the disappearance of Patrick Duffy’s remains.
“The truth is that I voiced my strong opposition to Patrick Duffy’s disappearance and that very soon afterwards his body was returned”.
Martin McGuinness also hit out after vandals damaged his ministerial car.
The Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister described as “pointless” the attack on the vehicle outside his Londonderry home on Friday night.
He said: “These type of attacks are pointless. I won’t be deflected from carrying out my responsibilities and my work to build peace and reconciliation.”