independent

Friday 18 April 2014

New pressure for Adams as Kenny says: 'He was in IRA'

Justice Minister Michael McDowell says he categorically stands over his claim that Gerry Adams was on the IRA's army council.

THE net continues to tighten on Gerry Adams over his repeated denials of IRA membership.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is ratcheting up the pressure on the Sinn Fein president, stating he believes " Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA".

Fine Gael chairman Charlie Flanagan is formally requesting a Dail statement from Mr Adams on the latest allegations he was involved in ordering IRA executions.

And the Government is throwing Mr Adams's call for a truth enquiry for the Northern Ireland Troubles back at him.

After a casual reference to Mr Adams's IRA past last week, Mr Kenny upped the ante by confirming his belief that the Sinn Fein leader was a senior figure in the Provos.

"From all the evidence I have read and from all the evidence I have heard, I believe Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA and I was led to believe he was also a member of the army council," he said.

Mr Kenny contrasted Mr Adams's continual denial of being in the IRA with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness's admission of involvement at a senior level.

"I had a serious discussion with Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and he was forthright enough and honest enough to say he was a member of the IRA. So Gerry Adams might like to make a statement about that," he said.

Mr Kenny also called on Mr Adams to make a statement on the repeated accusations of IRA membership.

Mr Flanagan has written to Dail Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett about Mr Adams making a statement in response to the accusations of IRA membership.

Murder

Mr Flanagan said as Mr Adams was a party leader, it put an onus on him to make a formal statement.

The Laois-Offaly TD said a way needed to be found in the Dail rules for such a statement.

Mr Kenny did not clarify whether he was saying Mr Adams was responsible for murder.

"I was asked a question, do I believe Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA, and I said the evidence I have read and heard led me to believe he was and was a member of the army council -- and he might like to make a statement on that," he responded," he said.

Mr Kenny also challenged Mr Adams to back up his calls for a truth commission in the North by being "truthful" himself about his own role in the Troubles.

"When Deputy Adams says to me he wants a truth and reconciliation commission, I'd like him to be absolutely truthful about this," he said.

Last week, convicted IRA bomber Dolours Price accused him of having a leading role in the organisation, including personal involvement in the murder of Jean McConville.

Mr Kenny's comments provoked an angry response from Mr Adams yesterday.

"It is now becoming tedious that every time this Government feels under pressure it raises this issue of me being in the IRA. It is nonsense and the Taoiseach knows this.

"This is another desperate and transparent attempt to deflect attention from the failures of Mr Kenny's Government," he said.

Irish Independent

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