SDLP, TUV quiz Adams over murder

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The SDLP and TUV have posed questions of Gerry Adams after he told Garda that a senior Northern Ireland politician from his own party should be a suspect in the murder of an Irish prison officer.

The Sinn Fein president emailed Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan four names in February in connection with the murder of senior Portlaoise prison officer Brian Stack in 1983.

Three of them are prominent Sinn Fein politicians - one of them in Northern Ireland - and the third is a senior IRA figure from the south.

Mr Stack’s son Austin said Garda showed him the email last week, in which he says Mr Adams told Garda the four names had been supplied by Mr Stack himself.

However, Mr Stack insisted that he gave no information whatsoever to Mr Adams.

Yesterday Mr Adams went on to southern radio station LMFM where he repeated his claims that Mr Stack had given him the names in 2012, but again, Mr Stack released a statement firmly rejecting his claims.

Mr Stack continued: “If Deputy Adams is to be believed then the obvious question is why it took him three years to pass on the information”.

He has suggested that the three Sinn Fein members named by Mr Adams may have “fallen out of favour”.

TUV leader Jim Allister said he was puzzled by Mr Adams’ actions.

“Frankly I don’t know what Adams is playing at here but there is no doubt that he and the wider republican movement could solve many hundreds of murders were they to disclose what they know about the IRA terror campaign,” he said.

SDLP justice spokesperson Alex Attwood added: “The glaring question for Gerry Adams is how did he write to the Gardai providing the names if Austin Stack did not provide the names?”

A Sinn Fein spokesperson provided a previously released statement to the News Letter, insisting that Mr Stack had provided the names.