Gardai ‘should question Adams on ex-IRA man’s bomb order claims’

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness pictured in 1983.
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness pictured in 1983.

The Gardai are still to say whether they will question Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness over claims from an ex-IRA prisoner that they gave him orders for an IRA bombing campaign during a meeting in Dublin.

The claims were made by former IRA prisoner Peter Rogers, 69, in an interview with the BBC 10 days ago. He said that Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness met him in Dublin in 1980 and ordered him to transport explosives to England for a bombing campaign. Sinn Fein has strongly denied the claims.

For five days after the broadcast the News Letter asked the Garda if it would be investigating Mr Rogers’ claims.

On the fifth day, April 28, a Garda spokesman said: “We are aware of the allegations as reported in the media and are awaiting to view the full content of the broadcast.”

Yesterday, the Garda declined to make any further comment about Mr Rogers’ claims.

IRA victim Ann Travers, whose sister Mary was murdered in a gun attack on her family in 1984, said last night that the gardai should investigate.

“I certainly feel that there is a duty on the Garda to follow up this report and speak to Peter Rogers, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. It is quite worrying that gardai are not able to say that they are following this up.”

A spokesman for Sinn Fein responded to her comments, saying: “There is no truth in these allegations. Gerry Adams has already publicly refuted these claims.”

Asked to clarify where and when Mr Adams had refuted Mr Rogers’ claims about the bombing orders, Sinn Fein had not offered a response at the time of going to press.

Mr Rogers claimed he was summoned to meet Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness in the grounds of Trinity College Dublin in 1980 because he was reluctant to move an “unstable” liquid explosive to England. He feared he would be killed in a premature explosion or caught by police.

“When I met with them, Gerry wanted to know what the delay was,” Mr Rogers told the BBC. “I asked that they [the explosives] be replaced.”

He claimed that Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness listened and then conferred out of earshot before coming back to him.

“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.

The PSNI said the allegations related to matters outside their jurisdiction and were a matter for the gardai.