Monday 26 September 2016

Stack family: 'Sinn Féin leader belittled us'

Published 19/02/2016 | 02:30

Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke
Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke

The family of murdered IRA victim Brian Stack have accused Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams of trying to "belittle" their suffering on live TV.

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The Stack family expressed anger last night after Mr Adams tried to change topics when asked about the murder, which took place in Dublin during The Troubles.

The IRA admitted to the murder in 2013 at a meeting with the Stack family that had been arranged by Mr Adams.

Under questioning by RTÉ broadcaster Bryan Dobson, Mr Adams eventually pledged to do everything he can "humanly do" to help the family of the murdered prison officer.

But he said everybody needed to "move forward" from the violence of the past in a remark that was strongly criticised by the victim's son Austin.

"My family were tonight re-victimised by Gerry Adams as he tried to belittle our suffering," Mr Stack told the Irish Independent. "We are not vengeful people, my family just want the truth. Is that too much to ask?

"We want Sinn Féin to come clean about those in their ranks who sanctioned and planned my Dad's murder. The public deserves full disclosure from Sinn Féin on this matter before the election."

Meanwhile, in a surprise development yesterday, Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty revealed his willingness to succeed Mr Adams as party leader.

Mr Doherty has previously said that he does not harbour leadership ambitions.

But his admission - just days before the election - will come as a surprise to Mr Adams and senior Sinn Féin figures.

He said: "In terms of whether I see myself in the future as a party leader, it's not something I have a personal ambition to do, but if it's something that the party so decided at a later stage that it was something they wanted me to do, then I would be willing to do it."

Mr Doherty was also forced to defend his leader's grasp of Sinn Féin's tax policy following a 'car-crash' interview on RTÉ's 'Today With Séan O'Rourke'.

Mr Adams floundered as he came under intense questioning on his party's plans for a new higher rate of tax on salaries above €100,000.

But Mr Doherty defended his embattled leader, saying: "I don't believe my party leader does find difficulty in explaining it (SF's tax policy)."

He said the party was "very clear" that those earning above €100,000 "will be asked to pay 7c more on every euro they earn above €100,000".

Irish Independent

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