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Sunday 23 October 2016

Gerry Adams is still in daily contact with my father's killers, says Stack

Niall O'Connor and Ralph Riegel

Published 17/02/2016 | 02:30

Austin Stack believes Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams is in regular contact with his father’s killers. Pic Frank Mc Grath
Austin Stack believes Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams is in regular contact with his father’s killers. Pic Frank Mc Grath

The son of a prison officer murdered by the IRA has claimed Gerry Adams is in daily contact with two senior party members involved in his murder.

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The Irish Independent yesterday revealed that the family of Brian Stack, brutally murdered by the IRA during The Troubles, have obtained fresh information in relation to the killing.

The victim's son, Austin Stack, has claimed two senior Sinn Féin politicians were involved in the murder.

And last night, Mr Stack said Mr Adams is in regular contact with the two individuals, who are senior members of the party.

"Those who serve in high public office must seek to maintain the highest of standards," Mr Stack said.

Mr Stack also pointed out that Gerry Adams has questions to answer over his comments in relation to the Special Criminal Court.

He said that "the judiciary are an independent arm of the executive and for a public representative to openly question their impartiality is a serious matter".

Brian Stack was serving as the Chief Prison Officer in Portlaoise when he was shot in the back of the neck 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.

The IRA finally admitted responsibility for Brian Stack's murder in 2013, having initally denied involvement.

The admission was made during a meeting involving the victim's sons Austin and Oliver, which took place in an undisclosed location and was organised by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin raised grave concerns following the claims by the Stack family.

"The bottom line is Mr Stack should never have been murdered and the years of denial compounded his tragic death for his family. The Sinn Féin leadership know a lot about this issue. I sincerely hope that they will fully cooperate with the investigation so those who are responsible can be held accountable," Mr Martin told the Irish Independent.

The claims by the Stack family were raised with Mr Adams on the campaign trail yesterday.

The Louth TD urged anyone with information on the murder of Mr Stack, aged 48 when he was killed, to contact gardai.

Mr Adams, speaking as he canvassed in Cork, said the murder was wrong and should never have happened.

But he also said that it was not up to Sinn Féin to investigate the matter, and it was an issue for the gardaí only.

"First of all, Officer Stack, Austin's father, should never have been killed," he said.

"That is without question whatsoever. I have met the Stack family. I have facilitated a process which was aimed at trying to give them some sense of closure.

"Having said that, this man should never have been killed, that does not bring him back."

"The fact is, he was killed. What we have hopefully done now is put in place a process where no one else will be killed in those circumstances.

"I read Austin Stack's statement. Anybody with any information, particularly the information he claims to have, give it to An Garda Síochána.

"We (Sinn Féin) are not a criminal investigation (body). It isn't up to us to investigate these matters - it is up to the gardaí," he said.

Irish Independent

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