Monday 23 July 2018

Adams urged to help new inquiry into IRA murder

Gardai believe answer to Tom Oliver killing lies in Co Louth

Tom Oliver
Tom Oliver
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Sinn President Gerry Adams has been urged to come forward with any information he has about the brutal Provisional IRA murder of sheep farmer Tom Oliver.

Gardai have launched a review of the investigation into the murder of Mr Oliver, who was abducted from his home in the Cooley Peninsula, Co Louth before being tortured and shot dead by an IRA terror gang.

It is understood gardai investigating the murder believe those who have information on the brutal terrorist killing still live in the Cooley Peninsula. However, gardai believe residents still fear IRA retribution for speaking out against the terrorist organisation.

Yesterday, Louth Fianna Fail TD Declan Breathnach called on Mr Adams to come forward with any information on "one of the most brutal atrocities" carried out by the Provisional IRA.

"Many people in Cooley have been frightened to talk about the murder but if Mr Adams has information about who the perpetrators are he should come forward and tell gardai," Mr Breathnach said

He said the Oliver family was "owed justice" and Mr Adams, who is also a Louth TD, should do what he can to ensure this crime was solved.

Sinn Fein's response as to whether Mr Adams would assist the new inquiry into Mr Oliver's brutal murder at the hands of a terrorist organisation linked to his party were simple: "Gerry Adams has no information about the murder of Tom Oliver."

Gardai investigating the murder are planning to link up with UK police who were involved in the State inquiry into the activities of IRA double agent Freddie 'Steaknife' Scappaticci.

It is understood gardai do not have any specific new evidence which could result in arrests but they are investigating new lines of inquiry which they hope will lead them to Mr Oliver's killers. Mr Oliver was abducted from his home in Riverstown, Co Louth in July 1991 by a Provisional IRA gang, who tortured and beat him before shooting him in the head. His body was discovered the next day in Belleek, Co Armagh.

The Provisional IRA claimed responsibility for the murder but said they carried out the heinous killing because they believed Mr Oliver was an informer.

The IRA statement was published in Sinn Fein's official magazine An Phoblacht.

Mr Oliver's family has categorically denied that he had any links to republican terrorism. It is believed Mr Oliver was murdered by the IRA as a warning to Cooley residents thinking of speaking to gardai about their activities in the border community.

Before his murder, it was claimed Mr Oliver discovered a barrel of IRA weapons on his farm and alerted gardai to the discovery.

The IRA claimed Mr Oliver was knowingly storing guns for the terror group on his farm and was murdered for passing this information to gardai.

The Cooley Peninsula was a well-known Provisional IRA stronghold during the Troubles and was regularly used to carry out training exercises and store weapons.

Sunday Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News