Gardai urged to probe Gerry Adams comment over sheltering on-the-run IRA suspect

A complaint has been reported to police in the Republic after former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams made a comment about sheltering an on-the-run IRA suspect in the 1970s.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 3:30 pm
Gerry Adams

Mr Adams made the remarks in a video posted to a Sinn Fein Facebook page in tribute to Francis Hughes, one of 10 republicans who went on to die on hunger strike at the Maze Prison in Co Antrim in 1981.

Hughes was wanted by police in Northern Ireland for several months in 1977 after evading capture.

He was arrested in 1978 and later convicted of the murder of a British soldier.

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He took part in the republican hunger strike in 1981 and died on May 12 that year, one of 10 prisoners who died in the protest against the prison regime which had declined them political status.

Mr Adams claimed Hughes had stayed at a house with him in Donegal in the Irish Republic when he was on the run from the Northern Ireland authorities.

“When he was on the run, I got this sense of him when myself and Colette, my wife, had rented a house up in Donegal and Francie landed in with us, heard we were about, stayed for a while and full of mischief, messing with the kids and up in the singing pub, always wanting to be part of the banter and the craic,” he said in the video posted on the Bellaghy Sinn Fein Facebook page on May 12.

“This was a young man, full of joy and good fun as well as being a very very committed patriot.

“There were wanted posters with his photos on it scattered across the North, and still in the middle of all of that, he still would go out and try and enjoy a bit of craic with friends and with neighbours.”

Kenny Donaldson, of Innocent Victims United, asked why Mr Adams had not informed the authorities who had been looking for Hughes.

He said a complaint has been made about the comments to An Garda Siochana in the Irish Republic.