“Deputy Gerry Adams says he took notes and that the individual was a friend who knew what happened.”

So, for the sake of completeness on on-going saga of what Gerry Adams knows about the murder of Brian Stack, there was an interesting exchange at Leaders Questions in the Dail today between the Taoiseach and Micheal Martin (VIDEO).

When it came to his turn Adams, dismissed Martin’s intervention as an “opportunistic, cynical and contemptible” attempt to undermine his “efforts in good faith to assist the family of Mr. Brian Stack”. Only, of course, that’s not how the Stack family see it:

And this was the highly precise premise of Martin’s broadside this afternoon.

…what happened in 2013 was, in itself, extraordinary. The leader of a parliamentary party in the House took two young men in a van with blacked out windows to an undisclosed location somewhere near the Border to meet an IRA man who told them:

“We have carried out an investigation. It was a senior IRA person who authorised the murder of your dad. We have disciplined him.”

It was not stated how he had been disciplined. The IRA stated it regretted what had happened, apologised and that that should be the end of the matter. Did Deputy Gerry Adams send the name of the person he had met with Mr. Stack’s sons to the Garda?

Deputy Gerry Adams says he took notes of the meeting and that the individual was a friend of his who knew what had happened.

Have the notes of the meeting with the individual in question who, 30 years after the murder, eventually acknowledged the IRA’s authorisation of the murder of Mr. Stack been sent to the Garda Commissioner?

It’s an oddly sticky situation for someone like Adams to find himself in, not least in the way handing those names he did provide to An Garda Siochana. Anthony McIntyre’s comments here are useful in regard to this context:

I can see, every way I look at this, Mr. Adams here has informed law enforcement on his colleagues in relation to IRA activity in the 1980’s and it is my view that he is trying to deflect much of the flak or responsibility by shifting responsibility for providing those names onto Austin Stack.

And what has, in fact, happened is Mr. Adams himself – because he was on the Army Council at the time Brian Stack was killed – Mr. Adams himself, having been on the Army Council, had probably known, after the event anyway, about the inquiry about, the discussion that must have taken place in the IRA at this time.

I mean he must have known about that and it may well be that he is talking on the basis of information that he gleaned as a member of the IRA because Austin Stack says he certainly told him nothing.

McIntyre continues:

,,,the reason he gives was that he decided that it would be better not to allow people like Micheál Martin or Taoiseach Edna Kenny to criticise him on the grounds that he was withholding information [at a crucial election time].

I don’t think that’s a genuine excuse. I think there’s something beneath the surface, something more egregious, but I’m not in the position to work it out exactly why he did this at the particular time that he did.

Certainly, the naming of SF public reps to the Guards was odd, not least because one of whom the Guards themselves don’t believe had anything to do with the killing of Stack.

It leaves little supporting logic for not naming the former IRA man who was able to tell the brothers about the murder of their father and apologise.

If this reads strangely obsessive on the part of southerners, when Adams’ organisation killed many more individuals than they did in the south, it has much to do with the high esteem accorded servants of the Republic, particularly those on the front line.

When the Criminal Justice Act 1964 abolished capital punishment, the short list of exceptions headed by the murder of a member of the Garda Síochána or a prison officer “acting in the course of their duty”.

Martin makes clear in his response to the Taoiseach, he’s taking Adams to task for failing in his duty to his fellow citizens and to the lawful institutions of the state.

This is a murder. It is not about an election campaign or boxing clever in the middle of it. The Taoiseach said it: a man is at large. The Provos know who did it, but they are not being held accountable in this House and their parliamentary representatives are not being held accountable in it, yet they expect everyone else to be held accountable on every other issue concerning injustices perpetrated on many citizens on this island.

And there’s that small matter of signally failing to tell the Guards what he knows.

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  • Granni Trixie

    Now when SF Sluggerites come on this post they will be sayng “sure this is an old story” or deflect with “why are the Stacks only highlighting this now”.
    Only saying….so that they will come up with some new explanation for Adams again digging a hole for himself.
    I think this is another example of where the SF leadership expect the ordinary rules not to apply to them.

  • Declan Doyle

    Adams is making a statement in the Dail today which no matter what he says wont please the mob.

    After this is sorted one way or another the best way forward is for Adams and republicans in general to completely shut down and shut up when it comes the past and deal only with whatever legacy commission is established in the future.

    In this case Adams tried to help the Stack family find some closure after they felt let down by the state’s investigation of their fathers shocking killing. Its true what they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

  • NMS

    The poor old Provo correspondents have not been given their lines yet. It was an interesting piece of choreography from the two former Oidí Bunscoile yesterday. A lesson learned in the classroom perhaps of team tagging to catch the liar out.

  • NMS

    Declan, I am not sure how to take your second last sentence. I can only presume you were trying to be ironic.

    Taking Mick’s quotes from Dr. McIntyre at face value, Adams was at least aware of the planned attack on Chief Office Stack and may have ordered it.

    There is something Mafia like in the “efforts to help the Stack family” after the event & his likely role in it. But then again the blacked up van driven to an unknown location to be informed about the death of a loved relative is straight out of an Italian crime novel.

  • johnny lately

    “Taking Mick’s quotes from Dr. McIntyre at face value, Adams was at least aware of the planned attack on Chief Office Stack and may have ordered it.”

    Thats not what Anthony McIntyre said at all NMS he said Adams probably knew about it later, after it happened, certainly after the the IRA internal inquiry into what happened. Its possible he became aware of who was involved at the same time, if not after British and Irish intelligence agencies became aware of who was involved as isn’t it now known that both the OC and second in command of the IRA’s internal security unit who no doubt carried out any inquiry at the time,
    (John Joe Magee) and Freddie Scappaticci were working for the intelligence services on both sides of the border so its likely they have known as long as Adams who was all involved in the murder of Brian Stack.

  • Granni Trixie

    Adams is all heart,isn’t he?

  • Declan Doyle

    compared to who? Yourself? I need to have a think about that.

  • AntrimGael

    No great love for the Shinners but FG, FF and the Southern media are once again using selective victims and their relatives for their own political purposes. The Stack family deserve the truth but ONLY as part of an overall truth and reconciliation process. I wish the Southern political and media Establishments gave as much attention to the Dublin/Monaghan bombings but hey there’s no capital to be made from this and annoying the British and Unionism for the truth is simply a NO NO for this horrible, invertebrate shower.

  • NMS

    Brian Stack has called Gerry Adams a liar, saying he used the chance to make a personal statement, to tell more lies.

    If he misled the Dáil,surely it is time for the Committee on Procedures & Privileges to take action?

  • Granni Trixie

    Just heard on the news that Adams (at a press conference where Stack appeared) said that ‘the killing was wrong and should not have happened’.
    Now why was this particular killing ‘wrong’ and not others? Did the IRA rule of “legitimate targets” not apply in the south?