McGuinness launches attack on media

Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein maintained the combative tone towards the media yesterday which he has adopted since launching his campaign for the presidency of the Irish Republic.

He spoke of "west Brit" elements in the media and elsewhere, using the term which republicans use pejoratively about Irish people they accuse of having excessive sympathy towards Britain.

The first few days his campaign have featured a number of radio and television appearances during which he has been aggressive towards interviewers, especially when questioned about his IRA past. He said: "There are west Brit elements in Dublin. Some of them are attached to some sections of the media. I say to all of them: I go forward on my record, and my record as a peacemaker, I think, is unequalled."

Irish bookies have shortened the odds on Mr McGuinness: the odds against him are currently 9-4 or 5-2.