5 September 2002 Edition

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McGuinness comments on Derry case

Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness, commenting on reports in relation to an unannounced visit by Bridie McCloskey to his Ministerial Office in Bangor on Monday morning, said:

"I am aware of this particular case and the fact that it has been going on for some time now," he said. "Mrs McCloskey has met with members of my party in Derry including party chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin to discuss the case of her son Joe.

"Mitchel McLaughlin responded to Mrs McCloskey's request to make inquiries as to the source of any threat existing against her son or any other member of her family. He made extensive inquiries and could find no evidence of any threat to her son Joe or any other member of her family from the IRA.

"If Mrs McCloskey chooses not to accept Mitchel McLaughlin's bona fides, that is her right. I believe that the issue has been responded to appropriately. Sinn Féin's position on the issue is quite clear and has been outlined to Mrs McCloskey by our party chairperson."

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