Paul Williams: Adams's reaction to this senseless killing reeks of hypocrisy
IWAS aghast when I tuned into RTE's 'This Week' programme to hear the first item up would be Gerry Adams speaking on the murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe.
Within a short time my phone was hopping with comments from people appalled at the decision by the state broadcaster to give Mr Adams such a prominent platform to speak about a capital murder.
Mr Adams told the nation how he visited Dundalk garda station to sign the book of condolences. I was a little surprised, given that I believe he, until very recently, had tried to undermine the gardai's work in every way possible.
"He really has some neck, but he has always shown an incredible propensity for hypocrisy," one officer said.
During his radio interview, the Sinn Fein leader, the only person in the world who actually believes his lie that he was never a Provo godfather, appealed to the killers of Adrian Donohoe to turn themselves in.
Mr Adams also appealed for people on both sides of the Border to bring information to the gardai and PSNI.
But his appeals ring hollow to the men and women of An Garda Siochana, who have never forgotten the many brave colleagues who were gunned down by republican gunmen.
In particular, they will never forget, or forgive, his duplicitous and hypocritical stance on the IRA murder of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe in Limerick in 1996.
The murder of Adrian Donohoe on Friday night bears chilling similarities to the slaughter in Adare 17 years ago when the Provisonal IRA tried to rob over €100,000.
It is still unclear whether the attack on Friday was the work of dissident republicans. However, in both cases it is obvious that the criminals/terrorists carrying the guns deliberately set out to execute a member of our police force.
I too recall that at the time Mr Adams tried to firstly deny the IRA was involved in Mr McCabe's murder and the attempted murder of his partner Ben O'Sullivan.
Then, when that lie was exposed, he attempted to in some way rationalise the activities of his comrades.
The language Mr Adams used at that time should never be forgotten by the public, who are outraged and sickened by the murder of a garda. Jerry McCabe's execution – investigators have always believed his shooting was no accident – was, in Adams-speak, simply "wrong".
One of his first comments at that time was the following: "Those who have been engaged in armed action this last week have not been the IRA."
And later, when it was confirmed that it had been the work of the Provos, he came out with this gem:
"In fairness to them (IRA murder gang), what they did was carry out this act (murder, attempted murder and robbery) having being authorised to so do it. They would not have benefited for themselves by whatever had occurred (robbery)."
Most of the gang members were quickly rounded up and charged by gardai in Limerick in 1996. But four others, including the leader of the Provo unit, Kevin Walsh, managed to escape and went into hiding. Walsh was eventually recaptured nearly two years later.
At the time of his arrest, he was armed to the teeth and was prepared to shoot his way out, but the Emergency Response Unit had other ideas.
It later transpired in witness statements that Walsh had been visited by both Mr Adams and Martin McGuinness while he was wanted for the murder of Jerry McCabe.
The colleagues of Adrian Donohoe will also never forget how Mr Adams, Mr McGuinness and Sinn Fein campaigned hard to include the release of Jerry McCabe's killers as part of the Peace Process.
Nor are they likely to forget how Sinn Fein portrayed Walsh and his gang as heroes. And then insult was piled on top of injury when Martin Ferris picked up his killer friends from prison.
The death last week of Dolours Price is also a reminder that Mr Adams's past has not gone away – and is very likely to catch up with him.
Price and other former senior republicans have described how he was their commander in the IRA and the man who gave the orders.
Among those orders was the abduction and murder of an innocent young mother of 10 children, Jean McConville, whose body was eventually found buried in Mr Adams's constituency of Co Louth.
But Dolours Price will continue to haunt him from beyond the grave. He will be particularly concerned that a copy of her testimony concerning him, which she gave to Boston College, will now be released.
It is possible that the revelations could lead to the arrest of Gerry Adams by a member of An Garda Siochana for questioning in relation to the Price documents.