Saturday 27 August 2016

Gerry Adams’s US snub ‘linked to IRA report on criminality’

Ferris detained for link to Whitey Bulger

Published 20/03/2016 | 02:30

Gerry Adams. Photo: Frank McGrath
Gerry Adams. Photo: Frank McGrath

Gerry Adams’s difficulty in entering the White House is being linked to last October’s report that the Provisional IRA still exists and is involved in organised crime, senior security sources have told the Sunday Independent.

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It is also understood that the decision to detain Sinn Fein’s Kerry TD Martin Ferris at Boston’s Logan Airport last week was linked to his involvement in the gun-smuggling operation involving the notorious serial killer gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger.

Ferris served a 10-year jail term for trying to land the seven tonnes of weapons that were supplied by Bulger in September 1984.

The Sunday Independent has learned that the whole Bulger-IRA connection is under re-examination amid claims that one of the US security agencies allowed the arms-smuggling operation to go ahead in order to protect Bulger, who was then a senior informant for the FBI.

It is understood that information is coming to light to link the Bulger-IRA arms deal to other ‘black operations’, such as the Iran-Contra affair, where secret US security figures were involved in illegal arms dealing at around the same time under the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

Adams and dozens of senior Sinn Fein figures have been feted in the United States as part of the ‘peace process’ and concerns by security officials have been swept aside for years as part of the US administration’s attachment to what was seen as one of the few major successes against terrorism.

But following last year’s murders of Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison and Kevin McGuigan, the PSNI and British Government issued statements saying they both believed the Provisional IRA still existed and was responsible for the McGuigan murder, at least.

The insistence by Adams and Sinn Fein that the IRA does not exist was undermined by the report of the independent three-member group set up by the British Government in the wake of the McGuigan murder.

The report, by Lord Carlile QC, Northern Ireland senior civil servant Rosalie Flanagan and Stephen Shaw QC, found that: “PIRA members believe that the PAC (army council) oversees both PIRA and Sinn Fein with an overarching strategy.”

The US Secret Service said the refusal to allow Adams into the St Patrick’s Day event in the White House was the result of an “administrative input error”.

Martin Ferris was detained initially at the US Immigration clearance desk in Dublin Airport, causing him to miss his morning flight to Boston last Wednesday.

When he arrived at Logan Airport in Boston on a later flight, following a four-hour delay, he was again detained by security officials.

They removed his mobile phone and questioned him about his itinerary, which included events in Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts.

The phone was returned and he was allowed to continue after around two hours.

This was the first time that Adams and Sinn Fein figures had faced such scrutiny in the US since the aftermath of the IRA’s murder of innocent Belfast man Robert McCartney, in January 2004, when the US Government reimposed a ban on Sinn Fein fundraising until the IRA claimed to have decommissioned its arsenal.

Sunday Independent

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