Saturday 16 December 2017

Mary Lou McDonald urges Gerry Adams to give information on SF members alleged to be involved in murder of prison guard to gardai

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald looks at party president Gerry Adams Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald looks at party president Gerry Adams Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Mary Lou McDonald has urged Gerry Adams to give gardai any information he has on Sinn Féin members who are alleged to be involved in the murder of innocent prison guard Brian Stack.

Mr Adams yesterday revealed he had been given names of Sinn Fein members alleged to have been involved in the murder of Mr Stack.

The Sinn Fein leader claimed he received the names from Mr Stack’s son Austin.

Austin Stack insists he did not give any information on Sinn Féin members involved in his father’s murder to Mr Adams.

Brian Stack was shot by the IRA during the Troubles Photo: Irish Prisons/PA Wire
Brian Stack was shot by the IRA during the Troubles Photo: Irish Prisons/PA Wire

Mr Adams told RTE Radio One’s ‘Morning Ireland’ he has “no responsibility” to investigate whether members of his own party were involved in the murder.

Asked at an election press conference today if Mr Adams should contact gardai with information on Sinn Féin members alleged to be involved in the horrific murder, Ms McDonald said there was “absolutely” a responsibility on all citizens, including the Sinn Féin leader, to give details of crimes to gardai.

“All of us and Gerry included are on the record (saying) where there has been an offence or any criminal action information needs to go to An Garda Siochana. They are the duly constituted body to investigate these matters,” she said.

“I’m sure any information Gerry would have (would be given to gardai), and I’m sure the Stack family would have equally brought any misgivings (to gardai),” she added.

Read more: Gerry Adams under renewed pressure to reveal knowledge of Prison Officer Brian Stack's killers

“All I can say is that what happened was absolutely awful for that family. I feel desperately, desperately sorry for them. I imagine and it is clear that their anguish continues to this day.

And anything and everything that assists them must be done and it is simple as that,” Ms McDonald said.

Asked if she felt uncomfortable speaking to members of her party knowing they were responsible for the murder of innocent people during The Troubles, Ms McDonald said: “Of course anybody and everybody can feel nothing but absolute sorrow at the fact that anybody lost anybody.”

She said The Troubles were “absolutely tragic and awful” and it affected countless families.

“I don’t believe that issue should be used as a political football and with respect long after the election is over and the votes have been counted and the dusted has settled we are left with the issue of addressing in fair way and an inclusive way all the of the hurt and all of the issues of families that have been affected and bereaved in the conflict,” she added.

Ms McDonald said she takes “great pride” in the fact her party has worked to “ensure no other family is left bereaved or hurt or with the kinds of questions or those feelings that for instance the Stack family has”.

“I’ve met with British officials, you meet with the British government, others have met with the Queen, with Prince Charles.

There is an extent that all of that is in the mix but you either decide that you resolve these matters and that’s what we are for recognise and respecting everybody or else it is the case with some you address them at election times as part of a kind of party political discourse.

That’s not the way to resolve these issues,” she added.

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