The Garda were last night silent over calls for them to investigate Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams over claims that he gave orders for a bombing campaign during a meeting in Dublin in 1980.
Former IRA prisoner Peter Rogers, 69, told the BBC this week that Sinn Fein leaders Mr Adams and Martin McGuinness met him in the grounds of Trinity College Dublin in 1980 where they ordered him to transport explosives to England for a bombing campaign.
Sinn Fein has strenuously denied the claims while the PSNI told the News Letter that it was not a matter for them as the alleged meeting took place outside the UK.
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said last night that the Garda must “pursue” the claims.
“In relation to the accusations which have been levelled against Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, there is a responsibility upon any relevant police force to investigate crime,” he said. “If the act took place in the Republic of Ireland then the Garda have a duty to demonstrate they will pursue evidence regardless of where or to whom it may lead.
“We have seen some progress recently in relation to the investigation of crimes such as the murder of Jean McConville. Time or jurisdiction should be no barrier to justice.”
He added: “The evidence about the Republic of Ireland’s willingness in the past to pursue Provisional IRA terrorists is clear,” he said. “Extradition of terrorist suspects was not pursued and the Irish government’s role in forming and funding the IRA has never been accepted. There was direct collusion highlighted by the Smithwick Tribunal and acts of omission which allowed the IRA to operate unfettered across the border.”
Terror victims group Innocent Victims United said it believes that an independent inquiry is now needed “to establish exactly who is being protected”.
Spokesman Kenny Donaldson said: “These latest claims follow a long line of other serious allegations made against Mr Adams, Mr McGuinness and other republicans, who have been re-branded as supporters of the ‘Peace Process’.
“These individuals are seemingly able to evade even being brought in for questioning to account for what is being levelled at them.”
“If the government refuses to disclose those who it is protecting then an independent public inquiry must be held.”
The News Letter asked the Garda several times if they would be investigating Mr Rogers’ claims but by late last night the press office had not made any comment.
‘I was given a direct order’
Peter Rogers claimed he was summoned to meet Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness in Dublin in 1980 because he was reluctant to move an “unstable” explosive to England. He feared being killed in a premature explosion or caught by police.
“When I met with them, Gerry wanted to know what the delay was. I asked that they [the explosives] be replaced.”
The former IRA prisoner added: “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.”