The family of murdered Derry man Frank Hegarty have refused to comment on claims by Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness that he warned them not to let Mr Hegarty meet the IRA in 1986.
Mr McGuinness, below right, claimed yesterday (Monday) that he warned a relative of the Derry man who was shot dead by the IRA in 1986 that if he was an informer or British agent he should not meet the IRA.
Denying any involvement in the murder, Mr McGuinness said that Mr Hegarty had demanded a meeting with the IRA to clear his name following claims that he was a British army agent.
But last night relatives of the dead man turned down journalists' requests for a response to the latest development.
Mr Hegarty's murdered body was found in west Tyrone in May 1986. According to his family the Derry man left the city amid allegations that he was an informer but following assurances for his safety from Mr McGuinness he returned home.
Allegations that he gave assurances for Mr Hegarty's safety were first levelled at the Sinn Féin MP by the dead man's mother in The Cook Report television documentary.
The claims were repeated by the BBC Panorama show on Sunday.
Panorama claimed that alleged informer Freddie Scappaticci said Mr McGuinness had been involved in persuading Mr Hegarty man to return home.
Mr Scappaticci is also reported to have claimed Mr McGuinness was also instrumental in arranging a rendezvous with Mr Hegarty shortly before he was killed.
Mr McGuinness has denied any involvement in Mr Hegarty's murder while a lawyer acting for Mr Scappaticci has denied claims that his client gave information to the Panorama programme.
On BBC radio yesterday, Mr McGuinness further claimed that he advised the Hegarty family not to let Mr Hegarty meet the IRA.
"Frank Hegarty was demanding to meet the IRA to proclaim his innocence that he wasn't a British agent.
"I told a member of the family in the house, in the back kitchen that it was my view that if Frank Hegarty was a British agent and a spy, he should not voluntarily go to meet the IRA," Mr McGuinness said.
"I advised that member of the family and they know that this is true and they have stayed silent about this over the course of the last 16 years."