Once again Adams finds himself linked to heinous act
Published 21/09/2016 | 02:30
Sinn Féin politicians gathered at a hotel in Meath last week to receive directions from a man whom they not only respect, but idolise too.
Gerry Adams briefed his team about the party's plans for the upcoming Dáil session, which include a motion that proposes the abolition of water charges.
Leadership was also high on the agenda with Mr Adams even admitting that he, unlike Enda Kenny, has a strategy in place to step aside as Sinn Féin President at some stage in the future.
But as Mr Adams addressed his parliamentary party behind closed doors at the City North Hotel, he was conscious that the latest set of allegations surrounding his murky past were coming down the tracks.
Once again, Mr Adams knew he was about to be linked to a vicious murder, this time of someone he once called a close friend.
For the party was informed that a man claiming to be an ex-IRA member, and known only as 'Martin', had told the BBC that Mr Adams sanctioned the murder of Denis Donaldson.
Mr Donaldson was not just an ordinary republican and Sinn Féin member, he was one of Mr Adams's key lieutenants. He played a central role in Sinn Féin's rise to power in the North and was head of the party's administrative team in Stormont. Mr Donaldson was one of a handful of individuals who had knowledge of the inner workings of Sinn Féin/IRA.
He, like Mr Adams, had the inside track of the shadowy world of the republican movement. But most significantly, he knew about an alleged IRA spy ring at Stormont. And so, when his double life as an MI5 agent was revealed, the writing was on the wall for Mr Donaldson. Shot dead in a lonely cottage in Glenties, Donegal, Mr Donaldson suffered the same fate inflicted on many others who dared be disloyal to the republican movement.
Now, as the police investigation into Mr Donaldson's murder continues, the bombshell revelations in last night's 'Spotlight' programme have rocked the Sinn Féin party.
Once again, Gerry Adams has been linked to this brutal act. And his friend, tax cheat Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, was also allegedly involved.
This is the same man who Mr Adams described as a "good republican".
But the significance of these revelations lie in the timeframe itself. The date of Donaldson's murder was July 26, 2006, just over a decade ago, years after the IRA ceasefire.
It took place over three decades after a similar callous act took place in a rural part of Co Louth. Here, mother-of-10 Jean McConville has buried after being kidnapped and murdered by the IRA.
Mr Adams has categorically denied involvement of the murder.
Now once again, he finds himself making similar denials over a similarily heinous act.