Martin McGuinness has said he would have killed every British soldier in Londonderry in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, if he'd had the opportunity.
Soldiers shot 14 people dead in Derry on Bloody Sunday
The deputy first minister was speaking during an interview on RTE on Saturday.
Mr McGuinness said feelings in Derry were running high after the shooting dead of 13 people.
The DUP's William McCrea said the comments were "indicative of someone attempting to quell disquiet amongst grassroots republicans".
"The Sinn Fein leadership is clearly under pressure in light of recent revelations that the republican movement was riddled at a senior level by MI5 agents," said the South Antrim MP.
Martin McGuinness said in the interview that republican "attitudes hardened considerably" after Bloody Sunday.
"There is no doubt whatsoever that in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday there was a renewed determination to oppose the British Army and the RUC," he said.
"If I have had the opportunity to kill every single British soldier that was on the streets of Derry I would have killed every single one of them without any difficulty whatsoever."
William McCrea said the IRA was involved in "a bloody terrorist campaign and had it not been for the intervention of our armed forces in Northern Ireland there would have been much greater loss of innocent life".
"While McGuinness panders to his greener than green republicans ahead of his party's conference, he should remember that the IRA was not involved in a war therefore the killing of any soldiers would have been cold blooded murder," he continued.
Mr McCrea added that the comments gave weight to the DUP proposition that the confidence does not yet exist for the devolution of policing and justice.