independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Quaid family slam killer's 'bizarre' rant

A statement by Garda Seamus Quaid's killer accusing Sinn Fein leaders of insensitivity over holding the party's Ard Fheis in Wexford, has been described as 'bizarre'.

'It's too bizarre to comment on,' said the murdered detective's son Eamonn Quaid about remarks made by Peter Rogers in a Sunday Independent interview.

Rogers, a native of Belfast, had been living in Wexford for six years at the time of the killing 34 years ago. He was married with a wife and son.

He was originally condemned to hang but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

He served 18 years in prison before being released unconditionally in 1998 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Last weekend, he broke his silence to criticise Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness for selecting Wexford as the Ard Fheis location.

'It is insensitive of Sinn Fein to hold their Ard Fheis in Wexford and bring this back to the family. I welcome Martin McGuinness's apology,' he said.

Rogers said he apologised to the Quaid family after his release and also wrote to the Department of Justice in Dublin to say he no longer wished to live in Wexford because he did not want the family to know he was back living there.

He said he was deeply sorry for what happened to Garda Quaid and his colleague Garda Donal Lyttletown.

He stated that when he returns to Wexford to visit 'loved ones', he does so anonymously so as not to cause affront to the Quaids. He now lives on his own in Northern Ireland.

During the interview, he also said he was personally affronted by Gerry Adams' claim that he was never in the IRA and Martin McGuinness's claim that he had left the IRA by the time Garda Quaid was murdered.

Rogers was transporting explosives when he was stopped by the two gardai at Ballyconnick Quarry in in Cleariestown in 1980.

He was shot in the foot during an exchange of gun fire and was later caught hiding in a house not far from the murder scene.

He had moved to Wexford after escaping from a British internment ship, the Maidstone which was berthed in Belfast Harbour in 1972.

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