Saturday 22 October 2016

Gerry Adams pledges he will do all he 'humanly can' to help family of Brian Stack

Published 18/02/2016 | 19:46

Gerry Adams. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Gerry Adams. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

SINN Féin's Gerry Adams has said he will do everything he can "humanly do" to help the family of murdered Brian Stack but said that everybody needs to "move forward" from the violence of the past.

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He said the prison officer's murder by the IRA "should never have happened" but put in in the context of violence perpetrated against him and his own family.

His remarks came as he faced his second grilling of the day on RTE and after Mr Stack's son Austin claimed Mr Adams is in daily contact with two senior party members involved in his father's murder.

Brian Stack was serving as the Chief Prison Officer in Portlaoise when he was shot in the back of the neck more than 30 years ago after leaving a boxing match at the National Stadium in Dublin.

The 48-year-old was left paralysed and suffered brain damage - and died 18 months after the horrific attack.

This evening Six One presenter Bryan Dobson asked Mr Adams if he could help the Stack family to meet the killers so they could provide an explanation for the murder.

"I met the family. I’ve tried to facilitate a process. I’m quite happy to meet the family again obviously after this election."

Mr Dobson pointed out that Austin Stack has said "that you could perhaps just lift the phone and find out who was responsible."

Mr Adams replied: "You asked me was I prepared to meet the family and I said yes".

Asked if he was willing to go further to try and help the family achieved closure Mr Adams continued: "I will do everything I can humanly do to help that family."

"And that will be what?," Mr Dobson asked.

"Well let me talk to the family about that," Mr Adams said before listing incidents where he was the victim of violence.

"I’m someone who has been shot. I’m someone whose home has been bombed. I’m someone whose office has been bombed and attacked.

"Now what happened to Brian Stack should never have happened. I’m very, very clear about that.

"I have been able to embrace those who did to me and my family what they did and to move forward and that’s what we all need to do – seize the opportunity," Mr Adams said.

Earlier Mr Adams floundered on his party's policies for taxing those earning more than €100,000 a year while being interviewed by RTÉ's Sean O'Rourke.

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