Monday 20 May 2019

McDonald claim contradicts Adams on Stack murder timing

Mary Lou McDonald Photo: Tom Burke
Mary Lou McDonald Photo: Tom Burke

Niall O'Connor

Sinn Féin's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has seriously contradicted her party leader Gerry Adams in relation to the events surrounding the murder of Brian Stack.

Ms McDonald said Mr Adams provided to gardaí, without delay, the names of four individuals who may have information in relation to the 1983 killing.

But Mr Adams admitted on Saturday that he did not hand over the names until February, 2016 - more than two-and-a-half years after they came into his possession.

The major contradiction is highly significant given that a live Garda investigation is ongoing.

It also shows the turmoil that has embroiled Sinn Féin since the Irish Independent revealed that Mr Adams sent the names of the individuals, which include three serving politicians, to Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan.

Mr Adams said he received the information from the victim's son, Austin Stack - claims that have been denied.

The pair last met in 2013.

The Louth TD was asked why he waited until February 2016 before supplying the names to the Garda Commissioner.

He said this was because the issue didn't arise until the General Election campaign.

But according to an interview given to the 'Irish Times', Ms McDonald said the names were supplied by Mr Adams without delay.

Read More: Máiría Cahill: I'll stick with Stack as his version of events has not changed one bit

Following two separate and specific queries yesterday, the Sinn Féin Press Office gave a response which refused to deal with the glaring contradiction.

"Gerry Adams has addressed this extensively and has nothing further to add," it said.

Mr Adams also refused to answer questions in relation to his relationship with the senior IRA figure whom he met - in the company of the Stack family - close to the border in 2013.

Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty had said it was essential Mr Adams revealed who this individual was and also explain whether he handed the man's name over to An Garda Síochána.

Sinn Féin did not answer those questions last night.

Mr Adams revealed on his local radio station LMFM last week that the man in question carried out an internal investigation into the murder of Brian Stack and that a renegade IRA volunteer was disciplined for carrying out the murder.

"But he [IRA boss] acknowledged that a senior IRA person had authorised the shooting, apologised for that and said that that person had been subsequently disciplined and he put on record his regrets," Mr Adams said.

Ms Doherty, who sits at Cabinet, last night said Mr Adams was facing even more questions.

These include:

What did the investigation carried out by the IRA uncover?

Who decided on the discipline and what form did it take?

Had Mr Adams sought the name of the individual who, according to the IRA, carried out the murder?

Had Mr Adams given all names connected to the case to gardaí?

Brian Stack was the first and only prison officer murdered since the foundation of the State, Mr Martin told the Dáil.

He was shot in the back of the neck after attending an amateur boxing match in Dublin on March 25, 1983.

He died 18 months later after a period in which he lay brain dead and in a coma.

Irish Independent

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