Farm Ireland

Thursday 16 August 2018

Farm bodies condemn Gerry Adams' comments about Tom Oliver's killers

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. Photo: Reuters
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. Photo: Reuters
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Farming organisations have condemned comments made this week by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams about the killers of farmer Tom Oliver.

Tom Oliver was killed in 1991 and this week Gerry Adams told LMFM radio that his death was "politically motivated" and suggested that his killers should go unpunished.

However, senior Government ministers have warned Mr Adams that there will be "no amnesty" for those who committed "senseless" killings during the Troubles.

Adams, in his comments on LMFM, said that jailing the IRA murderers of the Co Louth farmer would be "totally and absolutely counterproductive".

ICMSA President John Comer said there could be no question of suspending or abandoning the investigation.

"We - and I think the vast majority of citizens - see the need for justice to be done for Mr Oliver's family and community and the justice system should proceed on that basis."

IFA president Joe Healy added that the murder "shook farming and the young farming community to the core".

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed backed the farmers' calls for justice and said Mr Adams had made an "appalling suggestion" of forgiveness.

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"We have an independent judicial system, independent Office of Public Prosecution, we have a Garda force that has served us well since the foundation of the State.

"And, if all of those institutions are doing their job correctly, then if there is evidence people should be brought before the courts. And there is no place for political interference in terms of the administration of justice. The Oliver family have waited long enough for justice."

Creed's Cabinet Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan was also strongly critical of Gerry Adam's remarks. "The brutal murder of Tom Oliver was one of the most senseless acts of bloody murder whereby a wife and children were robbed of their husband and father," he said.

"Under no circumstance can the abduction and murder of a man be justified - for political or ideology means. I would say to Gerry Adams there can be and will be no amnesty of any sort or kind under the so-called banner of the Troubles. Garda authorities are taking this murder extremely seriously. Should new evidence emerge it will be acted upon immediately."

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