McGuinness' death has been met with mixed reactions
Following the death of the IRA chief-turned-peacemaker on Tuesday morning, Austin Stack has told Newsnight that Mr McGuinness’ past should not be ignored.
Speaking on the BBC programme on Tuesday night, Mr Stack began by offering his sympathies to the family of the former IRA leader before adding: “When we look at Martin McGuinness’ legacy, we need to be looking at the totality of that legacy.
My friend David Kelly, whose father private Paddy Kelly was shot by the IRA… David approached Martin McGuinness asking him for answers in 2011 and Martin McGuinness shunted him away with the words ‘just move on, you’
“There’s no denying that Martin McGuinness, in the latter years, moved into the political domain, but we also shouldn’t deny and shouldn’t shy away from examining Martin McGuinness’ past.
“Martin McGuinness and his organisation were responsible for thousands of murders, thousands of atrocities, and [while] Martin McGuinness is lauded today as a peacemaker, from our perspective as victims Martin McGuinness never, at any stage, tried to reach out to the victims, never tried to reconcile with victims and he never acknowledged the victims.
Martin McGuinness' life in pictures Tue, March 21, 2017
The former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, has passed away aged 66
AFP/Getty Images 1 of 13
Martin McGuinness and Tony Blair look on at Stormont Parliament Buildings in Belfast in 2007
“My friend David Kelly, whose father private Paddy Kelly was shot by the IRA… David approached Martin McGuinness asking him for answers in 2011 and Martin McGuinness shunted him away with the words ‘just move on, you’.”
Mr Stack is a member of the Independent Victims and Survivors Coalition and his father, Brian Stack, was the chief prison officer at Portlaoise High Security prison, where a lot of IRA prisoners were held.
Mr Stack said Mr McGuinness was responsible for 'thousands of atrocities'
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
In 1983, Mr Stack was shot in the back of the neck and died around eighteen months later.
His son Austin added that the plaudits being offered to Martin McGuinness are difficult for some IRA victims to accept.
He added: “It appears that the victims feelings have been shunted to one side and this evening my thoughts would be with some very good friends of mine in Enniskillen and Claudy… who are listening to the plaudits being thrown Martin McGuinness’ way – people who lost loved ones, people who were physically injured and are still in great pain today.
Martin McGuinness pictured alongside Ian Paisley in 2007
“Those people have been traumatised today by the plaudits being thrown Martin McGuinness’ way.
“While the footage is old… the victims are still suffering today.”
Mr Stack added that he remains “supportive of the peace process” but claims McGuinness’ unwillingness to apologise to the victims makes it difficult to see the positives in his legacy.