Friday 20 October 2017

No amnesty unless families get closure first – IRA victim's son

Austin Stack
Austin Stack
His father Brian whom the IRA killed

Greg Harkin

THE son of a prison officer shot dead by the IRA has told Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams there can be no amnesty for killers unless families get closure.

Austin Stack, the son of murdered Portlaoise prison officer Brian Stack, said a truth commission could only consider amnesties after those involved in attacks confessed.

Mr Stack was among many victims of both state and paramilitary killings from all sides in the conflict who were left outraged by the suggestion from the North's Attorney General to bring to a halt all investigations and prosecutions from the Troubles.

"Any process must be led by the victims, not by politicians and lawmakers," Mr Stack told the Irish Independent.

"I spoke to Gerry Adams just last week and I told him there can be no amnesty. What we do need is a truth commission based on restorative justice. There cannot be a blanket amnesty."

Former Provo leaders admitted responsibility for the March 1983 killing of Brian Stack at a meeting with his son earlier this year. Austin Stack had been at a conference on restorative justice in Dundalk yesterday when he heard of Mr Larkin's intervention.

"I was shocked and dismayed that someone wants to propel victims into a permanent vacuum where they would never get to the truth," he said.

"I had to pull the car over to listen to it on the radio and I was taken aback."

Florence Magill, whose RUC son William (24) was shot dead by the IRA in 1980, said she would never give up her search for justice.

"That's what I want, justice," she said. "William went to investigate a break-in at a community library and he was shot to death like an animal."

Irish Independent

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