Thursday 24 January 2019

Gardaí got key information on Stack killing in 1990 - but didn't act on it

Brian Stack
Brian Stack

Niall O'Connor

THE family of the only prison officer murdered in the history of the State have expressed their shock after being told historical information relating to the case has only recently been acquired by the investigation team.

Detectives investigating the shooting of Brian Stack informed his family in recent weeks that they are now acting on information provided by an IRA informant in 1990.

The Stack family say they were first alerted to the information in November 2015 by a retired senior officer who spent years investigating the IRA.

The officer, who is widely respected in policing circles, told the family that the information pointed to those who killed Mr Stack outside a boxing arena in Dublin in 1983.

Austin, Sheila and Oliver Stack. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Austin, Sheila and Oliver Stack. Photo: Gerry Mooney

He said the information has been in the possession of the Crime and Security branch since 1990.

The Stack family decided to make no public comment on the information, but challenged the Garda investigation team in January 2016. They claim they were initially told the information was incorrect.

However, the family say detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) have since admitted that the information from the IRA informant was in fact provided and that it is now forming a key part of their investigation.

When contacted last night, the victim's son, Austin Stack, questioned why it had taken so long for detectives to act on the information, given that it had been in the possession of the force for almost three decades.

He said he was concerned that two arms of the force have not communicated properly and called on Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin to intervene.

"We received assurances from both Enda Kenny and Frances Fitzgerald that no expenses will be spared in relation to this investigation into what is a capital murder. Yet we are still waiting for answers," Mr Stack said. "The fact that this information has been with gardaí since as early as 1990 and is only being properly dealt with now is deeply concerning to us."

Mr Stack was shot in the back of the neck by an IRA hit squad on March 25, 1983, after leaving Dublin's National Stadium. Left paralysed and brain-damaged, he suffered for a further 18 months before dying from his injuries at the age of 47.

In August 2013, his sons Austin and Oliver travelled in a blacked-out van to an undisclosed location along the Border with Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.

They were met by a former senior IRA man who admitted that the terror group was responsible for their father's murder.

Irish Independent

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