Sunday 28 May 2017

Adams hasn't spoke to SF politicians since email controversy emerged

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams Photo: PA
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams Photo: PA
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

EMBATTLED Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has claimed he has not spoken to the three politicians he named in an email to Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan since the latest controversy surrounding the IRA murder of prison guard Brian Stack emerged last week.

Mr Adams also doubled down on his claim that Mr Stack’s son Austin gave him the names which he forwarded to the Garda Commissioner.  Austin Stack has insisted he did not give the Sinn Fein leader any names.

The Irish Independent revealed Mr Adams named four people in an email to Ms O’Sullivan, three of which are Sinn Fein politicians. Today, he claimed he wrote to the commissioner to tell her he had “no information” on Brian Stack’s murder in 1983 but did reveal he had been passed names by Austin Stack.

Speaking before a Sinn Fein Irish language event, Mr Adams said: “Why would I suggest for one second that Austin Stack gave me names if he didn’t give me names? How could Austin Stack expect me to try and get people to meet with him if he didn’t tell me who he wanted to meet. Come on,”

“I didn’t name suspects. I never said anybody was a suspect,” he added.

The Sinn Fein leader, who just returned from Fidel Castro’s funeral in Cuba, said he was given the names of four people by Austin Stack in 2013. At the time, Mr Adams arranged for Austin and his brother Oliver to meet with and IRA figures to discuss their father’s death.

“That engagement with the Stack family culminated in a meeting with the former IRA leader who had undertaken an investigation of sorts. The Stack brothers made it clear to me they wanted an acknowledgement if republicans were involved and they wanted closure," he said.

“At the end of that process they got that acknowledgement and in their own words they got closure of sorts and they thanked me,” he added.

Mr Adams said he did not forward the names to gardai earlier because it “wasn’t an issue”. He said the issue was brought up “maliciously” during the General Election campaign when Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan accused him of having information on the murder.

Earlier this week, Mr Adams revealed that an IRA member had been disciplined by the terrorist organisation for their role in the murder of Mr Stack.

Today, he said he did not know the name of the individual and he was not aware how they were disciplined because he did not ask.

He accused Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin of using the new information to make a political attack on him. He said “snide remarks” by Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the issue were also “politically charged”.

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