Monday 25 March 2019

Adams denies ordering killing of innocent farmer by IRA

Ex-SF president Gerry Adams
Ex-SF president Gerry Adams
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has denied he ordered the killing of innocent farmer Tom Oliver by the IRA in 1991.

Mr Adams also said he did not believe - although he did not know for sure - he was the man identified by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to a State inquiry as the person the senior officer believed had ordered the killing.

Mr Oliver, a Louth farmer, was abducted, tortured and murdered and his body was found in Belleek, Co Armagh, on July 19, 1991.

In 2012 Mr Harris - who was then an assistant chief constable in the PSNI - provided in writing the name of the IRA army council member he believed had ordered the killing of Mr Oliver.

This week he was questioned about Mr Oliver's case during an appearance at a Dáil committee. He said the information was with the PSNI and it was up to the PSNI to determine what actions to take next.

Following the hearing and comments made on radio station LMFM by Independent TD Peter Fitzpatrick, Mr Adams was questioned on the same station about the Oliver case.

Mr Adams was asked if he believed his was the name written on the paper by Mr Harris, to which he replied: "No, I don't think so. Well I don't know, that's the God's honest truth."

He was asked, on behalf of the Oliver family, if he knew who had ordered the killing. He said: "I don't know anyone who was involved in this unfortunate man's killing or any of the events which led to it. I know it wasn't me."

Mr Adams said it was "exceptional" that he would be asked such questions. He also repeatedly said he believed the Oliver family, and others, deserved to get to the truth of what happened to their relatives.

However, he stopped short of calling on Mr Harris to clarify that the name he wrote down was not Gerry Adams.

He said: "That's a matter for him. I'm not going to interfere with him in terms of the operational responsibilities that he has. I know it wasn't me so I'm content in my own skin on this issue."

Irish Independent

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