As Liam Clarke points out in the Belfast Telegraph, despite Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ toxic denials and occasional press conferences, Brendan Hughes’ account of Adams’ role in the Provisional IRA is corroborated by others. From the Belfast Telegraph article
All IRA veterans – not to mention police and Army members who have spoken on the issue – tell a story which is totally consistent with Hughes’ account, even if it does not overlap on every detail.
Pete ‘The Para’ McMullan, an IRA man who had served in the British Army, appeared on a Granada TV World in Action documentary in 1983 to describe Adams’ role in the IRA in much the same terms as Hughes. “Gerry Adams’ first major job was as OC of the Second Battalion, Belfast Brigade. It was one of the biggest and busiest battalions within the Brigade,” McMullan told the journalist John Ware.
“Anything at all that goes on within the Battalion area, discipline, shooting, bombing, robberies, it doesn’t matter what it is, he is ultimately responsible,” McMullan said, describing Adams as likeable and well-respected. During that 1971-72 period, three policemen, 19 soldiers and 27 civilians were killed by the Second Battalion.
Adams was later promoted and McMullan described attending a Belfast Brigade operations meeting with him at which the Bloody Friday attacks were planned. “I remember Gerry saying he was also concerned about the routes to and from the bombing because those were the things that were most important . . . He was one of the ones who actually thought up the economic bombings.”
Gerry ‘Whitey’ Bradley, an IRA man from Unity flats, whose biography was published earlier this year, also links Adams to the Bloody Friday attacks.
Then we have the testimony of Sean O’Callaghan – a Garda informant in the IRA’s Southern Command – that he attended IRA planning meetings with Adams and that Pat Doherty was, as Hughes also claims, head of intelligence.
Dolours Price, who bombed the Old Bailey, describes Adams as her OC at the time and the man who was also in charge when she drove people who, like Jean McConville, were about to be murdered and secretly buried, on their last journey. Richard O’Rawe, spokesman for IRA prisoners in the Maze, tells the same story as Hughes when it comes to the prison protests.
These witnesses to Adams’ IRA activity do not share a common agenda; in some cases they hate each other. In fact, no one who admits to being in the IRA in the 1970s and 1980s remembers Adams not being a member.