Sunday 21 January 2018

'Jerry's murder outrageous, savage' - O'Malley

The late Detective Garda Jerry McCabe
The late Detective Garda Jerry McCabe

Barry Duggan

Former Justice Minister Des O'Malley has recalled the murder of Det Jerry McCabe as "a most outrageous, savage action".

O'Malley, who served as a Limerick East TD for 24 years, knew both McCabe and his partner Ben O'Sullivan very well. The two men provided Mr O'Malley with an armed escort in his home constituency in "a very uncomfortable blue Vauxhall".

"They were always in good humour," said Mr O'Malley. "One of them would drive the car, I'd sit in the front passenger seat as it was more comfortable and the other one would sit in the back with an Uzi sub-machine gun on his knee."

Mr O'Malley recalled his final meeting with Mr McCabe before the 1996 IRA gun attack.

"[It] was in Adare, where there was a meeting of the British-Irish parliamentary body. There was an awful lot of guards there. I remember meeting them and I said 'Why are they do many guards?' as Adare was a peaceful place.

"Jerry agreed with me, but he said certain people living nearby were 'not peaceful'. And how right he was, because it was they who killed him.

"It was a most outrageous, savage action. People were absolutely revolted by it.

"When I think back on it, there were denials by Mr Adams and co that these people were not in Sinn Féin and the IRA . . .  they persisted telling those lies for some time and then they finally had to give in. They were only convicted of manslaughter. The reason for that was Sinn Féin/IRA members intimidated some of the witnesses." As for a future government including Sinn Féin, Mr O'Malley had a short response: "I hope not."

Mr O'Malley praised Anne McCabe, who led a campaign to ensure her husband's killers did not receive any early release.

Irish Independent

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