Gerry Adams: “I have no recollection of that whatsoever.”

A couple of points to note about the BBC report of the interview with former Provisional IRA member Peter Rogers.  From the BBC report

An ex-IRA man has made new allegations about Gerry Adams, in which he raises questions about the Sinn Féin leader’s claim to have never been in the IRA.

Peter Rogers has alleged that Mr Adams and his Sinn Féin colleague Martin McGuinness ordered him to transport explosives to Great Britain in 1980.

Both Sinn Féin men declined interviews but their party issued a statement saying the allegations were untrue.

Firstly, whilst the allegations may be new to the BBC, and they have interviewed Peter Rogers here, the claims emerged for the first time earlier this year.   At the start of February, around the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Wexford, Peter Rogers spoke to the media [9 Feb 2014] about the events leading up to the murder of Detective Garda Seamus Quaid in Wexford in 1980 for the first time.

[Peter Rogers] told the Sunday Independent last night that he felt forced to speak out because of what he saw as the insensitivity of holding the Sinn Fein ard fheis at the Wexford Opera House, where a plaque commemorating Garda Quaid had been erected in 2008 on the anniversary of his murder. Garda Quaid’s family asked for the plaque to be removed in advance of the ard fheis.

As for the Sinn Féin response, the Irish Times report has a fuller quote.

Sinn Fein said today that Mr Rogers’s claims were untrue. “There is no truth in these allegations. Gerry Adams has already publicly refuted these claims,” said a spokesman.

[Publicly refuted?! – Ed]  Apparently…  Fortunately, there is an Irish Independent report, updated 2 March 2014, which gives more details of the actualité.

Sinn Fein refused to respond to a series of detailed questions arising out of Peter Rogers’s claims over the past three weeks.

Last Tuesday morning the Sunday Independent approached Gerry Adams – who has denied ever being a member of the IRA – on the plinth of Leinster House as he concluded a press conference over the controversy on claims made by garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe in relation to An Garda Siochana.

When asked to respond to the claim that he and Martin McGuinness met with Rogers two days before Det Gda Quaid’s murder, Mr Adams said: “I have no recollection of that whatsoever.”

When it was put to Mr Adams that he had given Rogers the order to transport those explosives, he replied: “That’s not true.” When the question was put to the Sinn Fein president again, he repeated: “That’s not true.”

At that point, Mr Adams brought the exchange to an abrupt end and went inside Leinster House.

Under the regulations set down by the House of the Oireachtas, members of the media are specifically prohibited from conducting or attempting to conduct interviews with politicians inside Leinster House without first obtaining permission.

We were reminded by Sinn Fein party press officers of this rule as we attempted to pursue him through the door of the Leinster House 2000 annexe which houses the offices of TDs and senators.

Repeated efforts by the Sunday Independent to elicit a response from Martin McGuinness in relation to Mr Rogers’ claims through contacts with his private office at Stormont proved to be unsuccessful.

There are a lot of events of which Gerry Adams has no, or a poor, recollection.  But then, he’s been a very busy man…

As the BBC report notes of Peter Rogers

Mr Rogers, now 69 years old, is a former IRA prisoner who escaped from the Maidstone Prison Ship in 1972.

Eight years later, he was jailed in the Republic of Ireland for the IRA murder of a Garda (police) officer.

Detective Garda Seamus Quaid was shot and killed after his police patrol stopped a vehicle in County Wexford on 13 October 1980. Another officer was injured in the attack.

[Peter Rogers] was originally sentenced to death but it was commuted to a 40-year jail term for capital murder.

Nine years into his sentence, which he served in Portlaoise prison, County Laois, Mr Rogers left the republican movement and the republican wing of the jail.

He was later released from prison under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

He wrote letters of apology to the families of Garda Quaid and his injured colleague, but his apologies were not accepted.

And the details of the alleged meeting with Adams and McGuinness

At the time of the shooting, Rogers says he had been working as a “logistics” man for the IRA, moving weapons and “personnel” between Rosslare, Wales and France.

He worked for a while on the Brittany ferry before setting up his own parcel delivery service, partly as a cover for his IRA activities.

In October 1980, he became concerned that explosives he was ordered to transport to England for a bombing campaign were in a dangerous state. After he refused to move the explosives because of his concerns, Rogers says he was ordered to come to Dublin, where he met with Adams and McGuinness.

Rogers told the Sunday Independent: “I was summonsed to Dublin as to find out why there was a delay in moving stuff. It was the stuff that I was caught with.

“I was extremely unhappy about it. The explosives was weeping and there was a heavy smell of marzipan off it. You daren’t touch it, but your hands were soaking wet with the nitroglycerine coming off it. It was dangerous, highly dangerous.

“I didn’t want to move it for the simple reason I was afraid, number one, of losing the route into England and I was also afraid that if it was compromised that the active service unit might have been caught in England.

“It was supposed to have been gone on a couple of occasions but different circumstances didn’t allow for it and one of the main ones was the condition the explosives was in.” During the Seventies almost 100 IRA members were killed while moving or making bombs, and Rogers would have been well aware of the dangers.

Rogers said he was summoned to meet Adams and McGuinness because “they were in charge of operations”.

He recalled: “It was the afternoon. There was a rugby match going on at the time. It was October. I let them know I wasn’t happy. The reason that the stuff hadn’t been moved before then was that I wasn’t happy with the condition of it and I was looking for it to be replaced.

“They stepped back from me and they had a bit of a conflab and I was out of earshot. Then they came back and said it wasn’t feasible to get any new stuff.”

And from the new BBC report

Mr Rogers has claimed that during the same year as Garda Quaid’s murder, he was summoned to a meeting in Dublin with Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness, because of his reluctance to move explosives to England for a bombing campaign.

He had complained that the liquid explosives were “unstable” and feared he would either be killed in a premature explosion or caught by police in possession of the substance.

“When I met with them, Gerry wanted to know what the delay was,” Mr Rogers told the BBC.

He claimed that Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness listened to his concerns and held a brief conversation out of his earshot, before coming back to him with a decision.

“Gerry said ‘look Peter, we can’t replace that explosive, you will have to go with what you have and as soon as you can get it across, the better’, so as far as I was concerned, I was given a direct order,” Mr Rogers said.

[Does the NI deputy First Minister have a better recollection than the Sinn Féin president? – Ed]  Probably not…

Adds  Here’s Shane Harrison’s BBC Newsline report

And As Ed Moloney points out

There is an intriguing but unexplained aspect to the Peter Rogers story and it is that his disenchantment with the Provo leadership appears to be fairly recent. In 2002 he gave two lengthy interviews about the Maidstone escape with that most leadership-friendly of figures, Jim Gibney for what was still called An Phoblacht-Republican News which you can read here and here. The falling out seems to happened after this but exactly why is not clear.

The 2002 interviews with Jim Gibney in An Phoblacht-Republican News are even more intriguing given that, by his own admission, Peter Rogers left the republican movement and the republican wing of Portlaoise prison nine years into his sentence. He spent the next nine years serving time with, as he has put it, “ODCs – ordinary decent criminals”, before his early release on licence in 1998.

But then again, until February this year, he hadn’t spoken to the media about the events in 1980…

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  • Dixie Elliott

    Some weird replies from Niall Noigiallach and Greenflag to my point about how leading shinners went from fags to riches….

  • Charles_Gould


    Do you like the policy of SF that SF politicians are on salaries equal to that of the average person?

  • Supposedly average industrial wage, whatever that means. SF aren’t telling but Dixie is right that some people prospered greatly on that ephemeral amount.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Gopher, [25/4/14. 8.26pm] I’m so glad you can get a bit of amusement from Cromwell and his actions. Yes, of course, the complex changing alliances, along my enemies enemy is my friend until I can get the up on him that characterises the war defies anyone getting to wear the “white hat” of the good guy without question.

    “A heavily outnumbered. Michael Jones destroyed the Irish Confederate field army at Rathmines turning Cromwell’s “invasion” into a pacification campaign.”

    Yes, Jones won a battle against odds. Well he did have a well-supplied army and was fighting a weak ill supplied force with a divided command.

    But “Jones’s army was made up of Royalists who changed sides and Parliamentary troops.” Really? This is misleading, as most of the Royalists did not change sides to support the English interest in its dire need. Present danger had at last brought the Confederates and Ormond’s Royalists together, and there was still a lot of killing to do after Rathmines and Drogheda. For starters, Venibles, Cromwell’s man for the Ulster pacification campaign killed more Ulster protestants in a few short hours that the confederates had managed in the nine years of the Irish wars when he caught the Munroe’s remnant, the Laggan Army and East Ulster Royalists at Lisnagarvy

    And so on ad infinitum…..

    I’m delighted that you come from a family with the degree of historical amnesia that the contemporary world requires to function safely, and can accordingly consider these issues in simple print and abstractions, perhaps even develop a degree of optimism. Having a family with a long and close engagement with the history of the province, and a long memory of direct family loss does very little to encourage my hopes for a brighter future. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, but those whose families remember are doomed to watch them repeat it, but with some idea of where its all going.

    My earlier “let truth be known though the world should crumble” comments some days back on this thread come from having evaluated the issue of lies and its corroding effect on any attempt to develop (thank you, Rory Z, for also covering this point so well) a just and fair government here. The past is a similar issue. We are told we have too much history, but we have too many simplifications such as Jones’ action “turning Cromwell’s “invasion” into a pacification campaign.”

    These things cannot be brought up and dismissed in a few sentences without perpetrating misunderstandings and historical lies. What we really need is a greater and more accurate appreciation of a history that has been poisoned by people in the past telling lies to avoid the consequences of the truth. GA is simply acting in an ongoing tradition of mudding the waters for future generations, and leaving deep unhealed traumas. Later generations will be left to work out the bitter consequences, as with the Cromwellian “pacification” and dispossessions .

  • cynic2

    Isn’t it interesting how this entire thread has been subtlety shifted from Gerry’s alleged misdeeds to Cromwell

    Nothing to see here boys. Oh …look over there!!!!!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Peas in a pod, Cynic2…..

  • Gopher

    No amnesia here nor is it Cromwell himself our his actions that amuse me it is the mention of Cromwell that always tickles me. As for pacification, disease and famine were the two biggest killers in 17th century warfare by a factor hundreds if not thousands of times more than combat, those twin evils visited civilians more than troops. The rapacity of troops ensured that. Cromwell’s army was quite unique in Ireland it had its own logistics train. Later generations are forced to live out the bitter consequences of a poor understanding of 17th century warfare.

    And to neatly bring this back to Gerry for Cynic more Civilians died in the Troubles than combatants the explosives Mr Rodgers was ordered to England with were likely to add to that total, if of course they did not detonate prematurely and kill him.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hi Gopher, what really tickles me is the image of Cromwell on gable walls in certain areas, where the events at Lisnagarvey are long forgotten.

    I agree that Cromwell is very much a brand name, although this does not diminish an awareness of his murderous career on these shores in any way. He became one of the heros of the whig ascendency in the eighteenth century and his perceived Puritanism would endear him to the evangelical fringe of Ascendancy (as opposed to popular) Orangism in the early nineteenth century. His brand-name role as the progenitor of the “Cromwellian Planter” event that marks the greatest round of confiscations across much of Ireland meant that many newly enriched bloodlines blessed him as the source of their wealth.

    But it would need a book to unpack all of this. However, the links between the themes of lies and greed that the column has lambasted GA with and the plantations are there for all to see. As Yeats puts it

    “the beggars have changed places / but the lash goes on…” The lies too.

  • Greenflag

    @ dixie elliot .

    ‘Some weird replies etc ”

    Look up from your Norn Iron/Gerry Adams navel gazing and open your eyes . Adams will not be prosecuted or do jail time -the powers that be or will be are no more likely to send Adams to jail as they are to send the CEO’s of Barclay’s , HNBC , or any of the other banksters that colluded in looting billions from people not just in the UK bot all over the world vi a the LIBOR interest rate fixing .

    Did you find that BBC report on RBS weird ? Do you think the CEO of RBS will end up behind bars and if not do you know why not ? and ditto for the ret of the corrupt financial sector?

  • cynic2


    Should we also lock up all those who borrowed more than they could afford to buy houses worth far less than they paid?

  • Greenflag


    Stupidity is’ nt a criminal offence . The rigging of LIBOR rates and the theft of billions from people all over the world is and ALL the biggest banks on both sides of the Atlantic were involved .None have gone to jail .

    The ‘purported ‘ reason why none went to jail is supposedly because if the biggest thieves and gangsters in these banks went to jail the international financial system would collapse . i.e these banks became not only too big to fail but their top management and officials too big to jail .

    Of course if any financial institution becomes too big to fail and even worse too big the fail one would think that governments and politicians would be demanding for these institutions to be broken up or reduced in size so that the threat of financial systemic collapse would be removed .

    If you know of any senior politician in London or Washington DC who advocates such a policy – there were a few post 2008 but they’ve been airbrushed out of policy formation – you can bet your life savings that that politician will find his/her re-election underfinanced and any opponent’s topped up by millions.

    The governing politicians who are ‘scared ‘ of the consequences of jailing the big boys and who are way behind in understanding the ‘new ‘ upsized financial sector have now taken to hiring ‘advisers and experts to help them nab the biggest thieves on Wall St and the City of London .

    And where have these governments gone to find the ‘experts ‘ who will supposedly help them to implement ‘justice ‘ without fear or favour ? None other than Wall St and the City ? You don’t have to be a hedge fund manager to figure out how that will end .

  • cynic2


    …… is this controlled from that spacecraft in geostationary orbit?

    The small problem of finding actual evidence may come into play. If there is evidence rather than your seeming desire that there SHOULD be evidence because the world is a TERRIBLY UNFAIR place then fine. Prosecute the guilty. No matter how self-satisfying vague generalisations are mere slogans – just like the ones the politicians mouth.

  • Greenflag

    Evidence ? When the banksters themselves admit that yes money laundering of drug cartel and terrorist cash intake did take place and when they admit that yes they did ignore trade sanctions against Iran, North Korea ,and Cuba then waht use is evidence ?

    Good you used the word ‘may ‘come into play for the evidence is that in every so called ‘prosecution ‘ against the big bad banksters -government officials have taken the easy option of fining the crooks instead of jailing them . This is carte blanche for the same bastards to do the same all over again knowing they’ll never see jail and in any event their company will pay the fine .

    What you have is one law for the rich and another for the poor . The more you steal in terms of millions and billions the less likely you are to go to jail . The marijuana dimwit with a joint in his pocket is not breaking the law in some US States . If he/she is frisked by the police and is found to have a joint now in their hand as a result of frisking thats 40 days in jail .

    Meanwhile the executives at the Citigroups and the HNBC’s the top crooks at the top of the drug cartel financial empire get off with a fine which their bosses pay for them .

    ‘just like the ones the politicians mouth.’

    In these cases the politicians ALL of them left and right -GOP/Democratic/Tory/Labour have kept their mouths shut for fear of upsetting the Wall St/City of London “interest ‘.

    ‘this controlled from that spacecraft in geostationary orbit?’

    It’s out of control and theres no spacecraft just a bunch of crooks in large financial institutions who make use of lax or non existent regulations and corrupt politicians and governments not worth the name to steal billions and to continue doing so for they know that they’ll never go to jail .

    And it’s still going on it’s just that you won’t hear about it not from any elected politician anyway 🙁

    BTW the ‘lack of evidence ‘ excuse used as an excuse by those in authority has been torn apart by several commentators .

  • cynic2


    I ask this in the sense of really trying to understand why you are so angry. Is this driven by personal experience?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Cynic2, I ask this in the sense of really trying to understand why you are NOT angry, are you really unaware that what has happened in global banking, through the lack of regulation (no “democratic” control, meaning no law!!!) affects each and every person?

    “Is this driven by personal experience?” Yes, and not only Greenflag’s experience. Anyone, anywhere, who uses money to buy anything, such as food or heating, anyone who trusts their money to a bank, or has taken out a loan, is affected by this. Recent European law now permits the banks to “haircut” anyones deposit accounts, Cyprus style, should they (the banks) ever be in need in the future.

    So you no longer own anything! In this context, where the last shreds of financial independence anyone has had have been effectively removed, the bizarre assumption that the bankers lies about their activities and their possible future appropriation of depositors accounts, or, in the context of the main theme of the thread, the endemic lying of politicians such as Gerry and his political enemies, will not affect you personally, shows a bizarre level of naïvety for one claiming cynicism!!!!

    Keep reminding us who is really to blame Greenflag!

  • Pint of Plain

    I ask this in the sense of really trying to understand why you are so angry. Is this driven by personal experience?

    The real question should be,why aren’t you as angry?