Adams admits he has names of the alleged Stack killers
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has admitted that he has been informed of the names of two senior party figures who were allegedly involved in the brutal murder of Portlaoise prison officer Brian Stack.
But Mr Adams has insisted that it is not his responsibility to speak to the two individuals concerned, adding: "This is not an election issue for us."
Mr Stack was shot by the IRA in Dublin during the Troubles and died of his injuries 18 months later.
In 2013, the IRA finally admitted responsibility for the killing at a meeting with the victim's family, which had been set up by Mr Adams.
But the victim's son, Austin, says he has obtained credible information suggesting that two senior Sinn Féin figures, both of whom currently hold office, were involved in the 1983 murder.
Pressed about the claims at a Sinn Féin election event in Dublin yesterday, Mr Adams admitted that he had been provided with the names of the politicians alleged to have been involved.
"He (Austin Stack) did give me certain names, but these are allegations," Mr Adams said.
Austin Stack released a statement last night, denying that he or his family had disclosed the names to Mr Adams.
Asked repeatedly by the Irish Independent about what he intended to do with the information, the Louth TD said it was an issue for An Garda Síochána.
Standing alongside his deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, Mr Adams said it was not up to him to put allegations of this nature to his colleagues.
"I'm telling you these are very, very serious charges. This man should not have been shot. He should not have died as a result of his injury. I've made that very, very, very clear.
"So it isn't my job to say, 'Did you do this or did you do that?' That leads to another question. The issue is An Garda Síochána should be dealing with this.
"This is not an election issue for us, by the way. No more than the other issues that have been raised.
"I'm the person who went and met with the Stack family and listened to the effect their father's long illness and death had on them and particularly on their mum. So we will continue to try and deal with these issues in a way that brings closure for the families involved.
"We will do that when the election is over, we will do that before the election. And I hope you continue with your interest in this and all the other cases that need attention after the election."
Last night, Mr Stack also hit out at Mr Adams' for saying his father had suffered from an "illness". He said: "My father did not have an illness but was severely wounded from an assassination attempt, which left him very badly brain-damaged and paralysed."