Irish News

Thursday 31 July 2014

Murdered prison officer's sons hopeful of answers after Adams meeting

Brian Hutton

Published 09/05/2013|20:18

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(Left - right) Oliver and Austin Stack, sons of Brian Stack, the only prison officer to be assassinated in the Republic, after they met Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams at Leinster House
(Left - right) Oliver and Austin Stack, sons of Brian Stack, the only prison officer to be assassinated in the Republic, after they met Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams at Leinster House

THE family of the only prison officer murdered in the Republic are hopeful of getting to the bottom of the killing after meeting Gerry Adams, they said.

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Austin and Oliver Stack, whose father Brian was gunned down outside the National Stadium in Dublin three decades ago, held talks lasting more than an hour with the Sinn Fein leader at Leinster House.

They believe they know the identity of the killer, his getaway driver and a senior IRA figure they say sanctioned the assassination, and have urged Mr Adams to put pressure on republican colleagues to confess anything they know.

"It was a very good and productive meeting," said Austin Stack afterwards.

"I felt it was a very genuine meeting. Mr Adams expressed his sorrow for our loss and said he felt our pain, and in my view he was quite genuine in that.

"He said he may or may not be able to help us, but we are hopeful that something could come out of it."

The Stack family and Mr Adams have agreed to meet again within a month to see if any progress has been made in their quest for answers about their father's death.

"We put a lot of issues on the table and all of those issues, Mr Adams has agreed to have a look at," he said.

"We're very happy with the outcome of the meeting."

Father of three Brian Stack, then chief prison officer at Portlaoise Prison, was shot in the back of the neck on March 25, 1983, on a busy Dublin street as he left a boxing contest at the National Stadium.

Paralysed and brain-damaged from the shooting, he suffered for a further 18 months before dying from his injuries at the age of 47.

Austin Stack, who followed in his father's footsteps and is now assistant governor of Dublin's Wheatfield Prison, said they asked Mr Adams to use whatever connections he had to get people who knew about the murder to meet them.

Mr Stack is an advocate of restorative justice and would like to see a truth commission established into killings during the Troubles.

He said they had a good discussion with Mr Adams about those issues and agreed to meet again as part of a process.

Mr Stack believes his father was killed as an act of "vengeance and frustration" by the IRA because of his father's strict security regime at Portlaoise Prison, which housed all republican prisoners in the State.

His father was also aware of plans for an IRA prison escape - which was later botched - and suspected insiders were helping the Provos, he said.

Press Association

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