Wednesday 17 July 2019

Notes outline background to Stack-Adams meeting

Austin Stack (centre), son of murdered prison officer Brian Stack, at the Sinn Féin press conference in the Davenport Hotel in Dublin where he confronted Gerry Adams. Photo: PA
Austin Stack (centre), son of murdered prison officer Brian Stack, at the Sinn Féin press conference in the Davenport Hotel in Dublin where he confronted Gerry Adams. Photo: PA
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Gerry Adams told the Stack brothers that he would be "shocked" if the IRA was involved in their father's murder, minutes of a 2013 meeting show.

The notes, released by Sinn Féin, outline the background to the meeting which was attended by Austin and Oliver Stack, Mr Adams and his close colleague Richard McAuley.

Mr Adams suggested that responsibility "might rest with individuals or with one of the other groups that were in Portlaoise then".

He pointed out that it is not "our job to be investigators and that there is a live Garda investigation".

"This obviously makes it difficult to follow through with what the family want - to persuade people to speak about this issue," the notes say.

Mr Adams went on to ask how the brothers would respond if he approached people who told them they know nothing about the murder. "Would they believe him?" the minutes state.

"Austin Stack said they had come to meet him in belief that he was genuine."

Crucially, the minutes state: "Austin Stack said they were not there to give names but claimed that the person who supposedly sanctioned the attack is in our parliamentary party in the North.

"He said they had fairly concrete information from gardaí, some journalists and other sources and by 'joining the dots'."

Mr Stack has since strongly denied this. He told reporters yesterday: "The notes are very sparse. They only attempt to record half of what was said at that meeting."

The notes conclude by saying there was a conversation about how to respond to media queries. Both sides agreed to use the word "reflect" when describing what Mr Adams had committed to.

Irish Independent

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