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Move to oust Sinn Fein minister

Political opponents have moved against McGuinness over his IRA past  

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- The Democratic Unionist Party has launched a bid to have Sinn Fein minister Martin McGuinness ousted from the Stormont Executive.

The DUP, led by Rev Ian Paisley, laid a motion before the Northern Ireland Assembly's business committee for a no-confidence debate in the McGuinness, who holds the post of Education Minister.

It follows an admission by McGuinness in a statement to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that he was second in command of the IRA in Londonderry at the time of the British Army killings in January 1972.

A DUP statement said on Tuesday that the proposal had been put forward by its deputy leader, the East Belfast MP Peter Robinson.

The party's proposed motion reads: "This Assembly has no confidence in the Minister of Education Martin McGuinness."

The DUP said the motion would give assembly members the opportunity to "debate Martin McGuinness's role in the IRA."

The move came a day after McGuinness faxed his statement to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in Londonderry outlining the evidence he will give to them when he goes into the witness box.

Sinn Fein sources said the statement dealt with a meeting of IRA members after the Bloody Sunday shootings, in 1972, in which the paramilitary group's members in Londonderry discussed how they should respond to the British Army's actions.

It was claimed McGuinness's statement said the IRA decided not to hit back at the British Army immediately because it believed it was being drawn into a trap.

The IRA also felt it would be "a serious mistake" to bring weapons to the scene of the shootings in the Bogside area.

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'Bloody Sunday' inquiry begins at last in N. Ireland
March 27, 2000
Blair orders probe of 1972 N. Ireland massacre
Jan. 29, 1998
Trimble threatens Sinn Fein sanctions
February 10, 2001
N.Ireland leader Trimble accused of "provocation"
October 29, 2000

Democratic Unionist Party
Sinn Fein
The Northern Ireland Assembly

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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