Saturday 21 October 2017

'I just couldn't believe he'd have the nerve to run to be President'

Jerry McCabe's widow Ann has spoken out in solidarity with the families of other IRA victims, writes Maeve Sheehan

ANN McCabe last saw her husband at 6am on the morning he was killed. He was getting dressed. She wondered aloud if it was too early to have a cup of tea. He wondered if his shirt was ironed. The front of it is, so keep your jacket on, she joked. Before he left, they had a conversation which she has always kept private but which she says reflected their love for each other.

He left the house to join his colleague, Detective Garda Ben O'Sullivan, to escort a van delivering cash to post offices. The first stop was Adare at 6.50am. At 6.55am he was dead. He didn't stand a chance.

Ben O'Sullivan later recalled: "I saw two men armed with guns... They were wearing dark balaclavas, dressed in black and green camouflage battle-dress. They carried what appeared to be Kalashnikov rifles. They had the guns pointed at us... In an instant, without any warning, without any opportunity for us to protect the SDS van, one of them opened fire. The first blast struck me on the right shoulder. The second blast blew my hands off the steering wheel and I was forced on to the handbrake. The driver's window blew in around me. I saw Jerry's hands going into a spasm. His hand was contorting, his arm was blue and white. When the shooting ceased I heard shouting but I had no idea what was being said. I called Jerry three or four times. I said, 'Jerry, Jerry, Jerry.' There was no response."

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