Party reeling as top Sinn Fein man held in murder probe
Sinn Fein has been left reeling following the shock arrest of a senior party figure in connection with the brutal murder of Kevin McGuigan.
Gerry Adams's close friend and fellow inmate at Long Kesh, Bobby Storey, was one of three senior republicans being questioned by PSNI detectives last night in connection with the fatal shooting.
Mr Storey, an alleged former head of IRA intelligence, exerts significant influence within the Sinn Fein ranks and serves as the party's northern chairman.
His arrest has left Stormont's future hanging by a thread as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) today considers withdrawing its ministers from the power-sharing assembly.
DUP and First Minister Peter Robinson has delivered an ultimatum to the British Government that it will collapse the power-sharing assembly unless Stormont is suspended to allow discussions on the threat posed by the Provos.
But during a dramatic day for Sinn Fein, it also was claimed that a senior police investigator was prevented from questioning Martin McGuinness over the Enniskillen bombing after the Northern Irish Office advised it "would not be a good idea".
The claim was made by a victims campaigner who was giving evidence to a Westminster committee probing how the Government handled compensation claims by families of IRA victims injured by bombs manufactured with explosives provided by the Colonel Gaddafi regime in Libya.
Kenny Donaldson, a victims campaigner from Fermanagh said he had been told by a senior investigator with the now-defunct Historical Enquiries Team that investigators wanted to question Mr McGuinness about the atrocity, in which 11 people were killed.
However, he told MPs that the Northern Ireland Office had advised that it "would not be a good idea".
Sinn Fein yesterday completely rejected the claim and said it was based on "unsubstantiated hearsay to link him to the Enniskillen bombing."
In Dublin, Sinn Fein President Mr Adams appeared shaken as he took questions.
"I have grave concerns about how all of this has developed, including the arrest of Bobby Storey."