Monday 9 December 2019

'Officer Stack should never have been killed' - Gerry Adams urges anyone with information on murder of prison officer to contact gardai

Gerry Adams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Gerry Adams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Ralph Riegel

SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams urged anyone with information on the murder of Irish Prison Service officer Brian Stack (48) in 1983 to contact Gardai.

His comments came as Mr Stack's son, Austin, claimed that two Sinn Fein politicians were involved in his father's murder outside the National Stadium.

He alleged that one sanctioned the killing and a second was involved in the planning of the attack.

Mr Stack now urged Sinn Fein to 'come clean' on the identities of his father's killers.

Brian Stack, who was working at Portlaoise Prison, was shot as he left a boxing match in Dublin.

He was left paralysed, suffered brain damage and died 18 months after the shooting.

The IRA admitted responsibility for Mr Stack's murder in 2013 having for years denied any involvement in the shooting.

Three years ago it was blamed on an IRA man who allegedly ordered the killing without sanction.

Mr Adams, speaking as he canvassed in Cork, said the murder was wrong, should never have happened and urged that anyone with information should now contact gardai and assist them with their inquiry into the killing.

The case file on the killing remains open.

However, Mr Adams said Sinn Fein will not be conducting any inquiry into the claims as the party is not qualified to do so and the matter should be referred to the Gardai.

"First of all, Officer Stack, Austin's father, should never have been killed," he said.

"That is without question whatsoever. I have met the Stack family. I have facilitated a process which was aimed at trying to give them some sense of closure."

"Having said that this man should never have been killed, that does not bring him back," he said.

"The fact is, he was killed. What we have hopefully done now is put in place a process where no one else will be killed in those circumstances."

"I read Austin Stack's statement. Anybody with any information, particularly the information he claims to have, give it to An Garda Siochana."

He insisted Sinn Fein is not in a position to conduct its own probe into the claims.

"We (Sinn Fein) are not a criminal investigation (body). These issues sometimes get moiled in the turmoil of inter party politics."

"It isn't up to us to investigate these matters - it is up to the Gardai to investigate these matters."

When asked if he believed Mr Stack's claims, Mr Adams said: "I don't know."

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