Monday 10 December 2018

Adams open to prosecution if he resigns: Moloney

Mr Adams insists ‘Slab’ Murphy is a 'good republican', despite his jailing. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Mr Adams insists ‘Slab’ Murphy is a 'good republican', despite his jailing. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

Fionnán Sheahan

Gerry Adams would be open to prosecution for IRA activity if he steps down as leader of Sinn Féin, according to a respected author and expert on the Provos and Sinn Féin.

Ed Moloney points to the precedent set by the jailing last week of the Sinn Féin President's friend, Thomas 'Slab' Murphy.

Mr Murphy was sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax evasion.

Mr Moloney told 'The Guardian' newspaper: "This party [Sinn Féin] was created out of the IRA by Gerry Adams and the small group of advisers and colleagues that surround him. They will decide whether he goes or not, not the membership.

"As long as he is leader of Sinn Féin he is also leader of the peace process project and as such he is protected from efforts to pursue him for IRA activity during the Troubles.

"As soon as he relinquishes leadership it would be seen as a sign that the peace process is now secure and in those circumstances he could well become vulnerable; one could almost foresee the calls for his prosecution that would soon follow.

"The precedent of Slab Murphy is not a happy one and so continuing as Sinn Féin leader provides him with a shield."

Mr Moloney also said Fianna Fáil's next move on whether or not to enter coalition or an arrangement to support Fine Gael, will have a strong influence on Sinn Féin's future progress.

He described the prospect of Fianna Fáil joining a grand coalition with its old civil war rivals as a "wet dream" for Mr Adams's party.

"It [would] allow Sinn Féin to present itself as the real opposition. Not only would the party's Stalinist-like discipline compare favourably with the chaos and backbiting that would infect the coalition government, but the Shinners would play it all to their advantage in other ways," he said.

Mr Adams insists 'Slab' Murphy is a "good republican", despite his jailing.

Mr Adams said again the party was opposed to the Special Criminal Court and does not want to see anyone tried before the juryless court.

"The Fine Gael party were guilty of not making tax returns. I didn't hear any questions of Michael Noonan at the time," he said yesterday. "David Drumm is due back. I would not like to see him tried by a non-jury court."

Mr Murphy was sentenced following an 11th hour legal submission moved by Mr Murphy's lawyer, John Kearney QC, arising from a Court of Criminal Appeal ruling involving Perry Wharrie, an Englishman jailed for his role in the largest drug seizure in the history of the State.

The Wharrie ruling was issued on February 15 last, after Mr Murphy's sentence hearing but before the Special Criminal Court handed down its 18-month sentence to the bachelor farmer.

Irish Independent

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