IRA victim’s son wary of ‘praise for Adams’

Austin Stack pictured with a tribute to his father Brian.
Austin Stack pictured with a tribute to his father Brian.

There should be no attempts to praise Gerry Adams for his role in the Northern Ireland peace-building process, the son of an IRA murder victim has said.

Austin Stack was speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s TV3 documentary presented by Irish broadcaster Vincent Browne, during which the veteran journalist said of the outgoing Sinn Fein president: “Without him...peace wouldn’t have happened when it did.”

In the pre-publicity for the two-part programme – Gerry Adams: War, Peace and Politics – the presenter states: “I have known Gerry Adams for over forty years and have found him one of the most fascinating people in Irish public life during that time.”

Mr Stack’s father, Brian Stack, was a chief prison officer in Portlaoise when he was shot by the IRA in Dublin in 1983. He died 18 months later from his injuries.

Mr Stack told the Irish Independent: “Gerry Adams is someone who saw that the IRA was defeated and that they had to create another way to get their objectives.”

Mr Stack also pointed out that Mr Adams has continued to laud the IRA – the people “who murdered and caused mayhem on this island”.

The second part of the documentary airs on Thursday at 9pm.

In September 2017, Mr Stack told the News Letter that he aimed to “expose Gerry Adams” at every opportunity.

At that time he was commenting after Mr Adams said prosecuting IRA killers many years after their crimes would be “counterproductive”.

On Sunday, Mr Adams was interviewed for BBC Television by Andrew Marr, when he again denied having been a member of the IRA.

He said he was more interested in building the political side of the republican movement, and added: “I was active in Sinn Fein when the IRA was non-existent in the 1960s.

“Having said that, and it is a matter of history, the IRA is gone and my position has been consistent, that I was not a member of the IRA, but I have never distanced myself from the IRA.”

Following the Marr interview Colin Parry, whose son was killed by an IRA bomb in Warrington in 1993, tweeted: “Unexpected surprise to hear Andrew Marr mention Tim Parry during his interview with Gerry Adams.

“Maybe it was my imagination but I thought Gerry Adams ‘winced’ momentarily at the mention of my son’s name.”