independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Adams to meet family of prison officer killed by IRA

GERRY Adams is to be asked to reveal what he knows about the IRA's murder of Portlaoise prison officer Brian Stack, who was shot outside the National Stadium in Dublin 30 years ago and later died of his injuries.

Following a request from Mr Stack's family, the Louth TD and Sinn Fein president has agreed to a meeting and, as a senior IRA figure at the time – which he denies – will be asked if he can furnish them with information about the murder. It is believed father-of-three Mr Stack was killed because of his role in preventing a break-out of IRA prisoners from Portlaoise.

Mr Stack's eldest son, Austin, who is assistant governor at Dublin's Wheatfield Prison, has been campaigning for years to find out who murdered his father.

"This is definitely a move forward. We have agreed to meet, we are still waiting on communication back as to a date," he said.

Brian Stack was in charge of security in Portlaoise prison at the time of his death in 1984. He was shot as he walked out of the National Stadium in Dublin after attending a boxing match and died from his injuries 18 months later.

Austin Stack believes the IRA was responsible. "The modus, the opportunity and the ability lie with them," he said. "We still feel the answer lies within Sinn Fein. We are asking someone to take responsibility, we are not looking for revenge."

Brian Stack will be honoured next Friday by the Irish Prison Service when Justice Minister Alan Shatter unveils a bronze bust of him in the Irish Prison Service Training Centre, which will be renamed Brian Stack House. The family will be presented with the first Brian Stack Medal, which will replace the gold prison service Merit Medal.

Mr Adams is likely to be questioned by the PSNI over the murder of widowed mother-of-10 Jean McConville in 1972, following a US Supreme Court decision to allow detectives to examine files from a Boston College archive of 28 interviews with former IRA members.

The move leaves in place a lower court ruling ordering Boston College to give the US Justice Department portions of interviews, including one with IRA car bomber Dolours Price who committed suicide at her home in Malahide last January.

Price was interviewed with other former IRA members between 2001 and 2006 as part of the Belfast Project, a Boston College oral history study created as a resource for journalists, scholars and historians studying the Troubles.

In an interview with a journalist two years ago, she said she drove Mrs McConville to her execution in Co Louth. Price and Mr Adams' former associate in the IRA, Brendan Hughes, who was also recorded for the archive and who died in February 2008, both claimed Mr Adams gave the order for Mrs McConville's murder and secret burial. Mr Adams denies those claims.

Irish Independent

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