Thursday 13 December 2018

IRA man who had my father shot is an alleged sex abuser

Austin Stack, whose father, Brian, was murdered by the IRA more than 30 years ago. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Austin Stack, whose father, Brian, was murdered by the IRA more than 30 years ago. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Austin Stack

Over the last few months while I have been watching the unfolding story of the cover up of child sex abuse within the Sinn Féin/IRA movement, I have been disgusted by the constant denials, dirty tricks and the casual, dismissive attitude of the movement.

In recent days I have received information which suggests that the IRA man who organised my father's murder also stands accused of abusing children in the most horrible fashion imaginable. This has sickened me to my core.

During the summer months of 2013, my brother, Oliver, and I held a series of meetings with Gerry Adams in order to get the IRA to admit responsibility for my father's murder.

In August of that year we met with a representative of the IRA and we got that admission of responsibility. I was grateful to Mr Adams for facilitating this process and at the time felt that he had gone farther than any of us expected.

But up to March and April 2013, the republican movement and its social media trolls were denying responsibility and I was subjected to some vile online abuse and received threatening mail at work. When these tactics failed to keep me quiet we were granted our meeting with Mr Adams, and even at that first meeting we had to show some fearlessness in order to establish ourselves.

These tactics have been replicated since the wonderfully courageous Mairia Cahill came forward towards the end of last year to expose the culture of child sex abuse and the kangaroo courts employed by the IRA to deal with it. These tactics failed to intimidate Ms Cahill and this led to Paudie McGahon's brave decision to come forward.

So what has the Sinn Féin reaction to all this been? Firstly, the heavy gang on social media has upped its game and the vile online abuse has got worse.

Secondly, we have seen the "circle the wagons" mentality as illustrated by Francie Molloy's infamous tweet about how this was all an Irish Independent and "Blueshirt" conspiracy. And finally we have the complete show of indifference and disrespect shown by Mr Adams and the Sinn Féin leadership. The party leadership seems to be adopting the same arrogant stance that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church adopted when first confronted with allegations of child sex abuse. What Mr Adams and Sinn Féin are going to discover is that now the code of omerta has been broken, they are going to have to address these issues.

I have known the identity of the IRA member who organised my father's murder for some years now. I am also aware that this individual was very close to a senior member of Sinn Féin, who at the time of my father's murder held a leadership role within the IRA.

What I didn't know until the last few days was that this individual is alleged to have sexually abused children and that this was well known to the Sinn Féin leadership. The IRA member's whereabouts is unknown.

In 2013, Mr Adams used his contacts within the IRA to conduct an investigation that led to my family receiving some information and an admission of responsibility in relation to my father's murder. So I am sure that if Mr Adams or other leaders in Sinn Féin really wanted to find this alleged child sex abuser they could turn to their former comrades in arms or their global network of allies and do so.

I want to put very specific questions to the Sinn Féin leadership in relation to the IRA member who organised my father's murder. Do they know where this alleged child abuser is?

Has Mr Adams asked his colleague if he knows his friend's whereabouts? Have they alerted the authorities in his secret location that there is an alleged child abuser in their area? Has Sinn Féin handed over any information they have on this individual to the gardaí?

At his party's recent ard fheis, Mr Adams suggested that they wanted to lead the next government. Such arrogance is a slap in the face to the children his organisation has left fatherless.

Such arrogance is also a slap in the face to the children abused by members of his organisation, victims that his organisation continues to re-victimise and humiliate. Let's "cherish all the children of the nation" and make Sinn Féin answer these questions.

 

Austin Stack's father, Portlaoise Chief Prison Officer Brian Stack, was shot by the IRA in 1983 and died of his injuries 18 months later

Irish Independent

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