Saturday 1 October 2016

Adams: 'Don't worry about ex-IRA member as justice minister'

David Raleigh and Kevin Doyle

Published 15/02/2016 | 02:30

Gerry Adams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Gerry Adams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Jerry McCabe

Gerry Adams now claims that people should not be worried about a former Provo becoming justice minister.

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His comments came as a relative of Det Garda Jerry McCabe, who was killed by the IRA, called for Sinn Féin to support the arrest and extradition of two men who were part of the six-man IRA gang that carried out the 1996 ambush in Adare, Co Limerick in which he died.

And IRA abuse victim Mairia Cahill has revealed that she turned down the opportunity of going into a witness-protection programme as part of her attempts to have the man accused of raping her prosecuted.

When asked if the public should be concerned about a former IRA member being appointed as the defence minister or justice minister, Mr Adams drew bizarre parallels with the former Taoisigh Éamon de Valera and Seán Lemass, both of whom were prominent in the Easter Rising and War of Independence.

"No, (not) any more than they would be concerned about it being Éamon de Valera. Or Frank Aiken or Seán Lemass. Or Gerry Kelly or Martin McGuinness in their time in the North," Mr Adams said on RTÉ's 'This Week'.

The IRA's killing of Det Garda McCabe 20 years ago this June continues to haunt Sinn Féin.

Pat Kearney, a brother-in-law of Det Garda McCabe, has described as "shameful" Sinn Féin's calls to abolish the Special Criminal Court (SCC), which tried and convicted four IRA members for the McCabe killing.

Two IRA members are still on the run 20 years later.

"Jerry McCabe was targeted by six men who ambushed him. He was shot dead. Ben O'Sullivan [McCabe's colleague] was hit by 11 bullets and, by the grace of God, has survived," Mr Kearney said.

"Four men were apprehended and sentenced. Two men are still on the loose.

"I don't hear Sinn Féin asking for those two men to be located and extradited back into Ireland to face trial. One of them was supposed to be in Spain, the other in South America."

Meanwhile, Ms Cahill, who was raped as a 16-year-old by an IRA member, said she rejected a witness-protection scheme as she didn't want to have to change her identity and leave the country.

She was speaking in the context of Sinn Féin suggesting a witness-protection-style system for jurors if the SCC was abolished.

"I was offered witness protection as a victim in my case and I refused it," she said.

Irish Independent

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