Friday 21 October 2016

'I totally and specifically refute the allegations' - Adams breaks silence on claim he sanctioned murder

Published 21/09/2016 | 10:14

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Gerry Adams has ‘totally and and specifically refuted’ allegations that he was consulted over the murder of Denis Donaldson.

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In his first interview since the airing of a BBC ‘Spotlight’ investigation broadcast on Tuesday night Mr Adams didn’t rule out taking legal action over the allegations.

Martin McGuinness, Denis Donaldson and Gerry Adams pictured in Stormont in 2005
Martin McGuinness, Denis Donaldson and Gerry Adams pictured in Stormont in 2005

Mr Donaldson was killed by a shotgun blast in April 2006 as he opened the door to his cottage in Glenties, Donegal.

He was in hiding after being outed as a British agent of nearly 20 years.

The IRA denied his murder at the time, but the BBC spoke to a man who claims to be a former IRA member who was recruited as an agent by RUC Special Branch, identified only as ‘Martin’.

He told the programme he knew personally that Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams sanctioned the killing.

Spotlight said they understood Gerry Adams had stepped aside from the IRA army council in 2006, but according to Martin “he is consulted in all matters”

Speaking to Louth radio station LMFM Mr Adams said: “I do totally and specifically refute the allegations that I was consulted.”

Mr Adams said he had not seen the broadcast but had read subsequent media reports about it.

Asked if he would take legal action over the programme Mr Adams said that would be “very difficult”.

“They probably are covered legally because I understand they carried my denial.

He continued: “When I get the chance and I am able to I will challenge the comments and allegations.”

Mr Adams was asked by host Michael Reed if he felt his reputation was damaged by the broadcast.

“I haven’t thought about it, I haven’t seen the broadcast. I’m annoyed. I represent the people of county Louth along with Imelda Munster on behalf of Sinn Féin and we do so diligently. If there are questions to be asked about me or of me, yes the journalists are entitled to ask and to put those questions and I don’t run away from that."

Mr Adams, who is travelling to the Ploughing Championship in Co Offaly today, described the information as "lurid".

Asked if he regarded Mr Donaldson as a traitor, Mr Adams said: "I'm very philosophical. I don't categorise anyone."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked about the allegation that Mr Adams sanctioned the murder of Mr Donaldson..

"I think there are elements of Gerry Adams' past that only he can answer and I think that question should be asked of him."

Mr Kenny added: "I have no verification of the claim made by a former IRA member. There are issues of Gerry Adams' past that only he can deal with.

"If he wants to deal with the truth, and explain everything, he should do so."

He was asked if the latest allegations against the Sinn Féin leader should hasten Mr Adams' departure from national politics.

Mr Kenny repeated: "Clearly there are areas of Gerry Adams' past that only he can explain and I'm sure he'll respond to this allegation also".

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