'˜Iraq war was wrong' - McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle, Martin McGuinness, said the Chilcot Report has confirmed that the British government's invasion of Iraq in 2003 was wrong and had been disastrous for the people of Iraq and the Middle East.

Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 2:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 4:17 pm
From left to right, former U.S. President, George W. Bush, Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Martin McGuinness and former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Mr. McGuinness said he told then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, that he thought the invasion of Iraq would be a “disaster”.

“Sinn Féin opposed the war in Iraq and the subsequent occupation,” said Mr. McGuinness.

“We challenged the British in the lead up to the war and took to the streets alongside hundreds of thousands of others to oppose the war at home and abroad.

“The Chilcot report confirms Sinn Féin’s view that the war in Iraq was wrong, was not justified and should have never occurred.”

Sir. John Chilcot’s report, which was published on Wednesday, was damning of the British intelligence services, something which did not surprise Mr. McGuinness.

“The role of the British intelligence services in the lead up to the war will come as no surprise to Nationalists and Republicans. Those same intelligence services repeatedly conspired to destroy the peace process and promote conflict in Ireland.

“During negotiations with the British government both Gerry Adams and I told the British Prime Minister Tony Blair that war would be a disaster for the people of Iraq and the region.”

Mr. McGuinness added: “We also handed a formal letter of protest against the war to US President George Bush during talks at Hillsborough in 2003.

“Today’s report confirms that the invasion of Iraq was wrong and has been disastrous for the people of Iraq and the Middle East leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions.”