Doug Beattie: There would appear to be evidence to prosecute Gerry Adams

Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams carrying the coffin of IRA commander Brian Keenan in 2008
Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams carrying the coffin of IRA commander Brian Keenan in 2008
Share this article

Tuesday night’s BBC Spotlight programme was the source of yet more allegations that Gerry Adams was not only in the IRA; he was Chairman of the Army Council.

Former IRA man Des Long made the latest claims and stated that he sat opposite Gerry Adams at meetings of the IRA Army Council.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

He joins a long list of former IRA members who have said that Gerry Adams was in the IRA, including Anthony McIntyre, Brendan Hughes, Sean O’Callaghan and Dolours Price – indeed Price said he was her ‘commanding officer.’

Numerous journalists have also stated that Adams was in the IRA and no doubt the RUC and Army Intelligence files – which Sinn Fein are so keen to have released and seem to set great store by – would also make interesting reading as part of any Police investigation.

For a man who says he wasn’t in the IRA, he seems to have been present in uniform at colour parties at at least one IRA funeral.

In 1969 he also managed to be present in a car when an IRA man – Liam McParland – died in a crash whilst, according to An Phoblacht, ‘on IRA business’.

He also managed to be part of an IRA delegation flown to London for ceasefire talks in 1972.

That’s quite impressive for someone who maintains they weren’t even in the organisation.

The PSNI should be investigating this situation as a matter of urgency, because there would appear to be evidence to prosecute Gerry Adams on a charge of Directing Terrorism.

Certainly Sinn Fein is very keen to see former soldiers prosecuted for events of almost 50 years ago and they are still demanding inquiries into Troubles related deaths, which is why we feel Gerry Adams should be investigated, and if evidence is unearthed, prosecuted.

I can fully understand that there may well be political pressure — not least from London and Dublin never mind Sinn Fein — to avoid such a scenario, but the law must be applied equally without fear or favour, which is why there should be an investigation.

Doug Beattie MC MLA, Ulster Unionist justice spokesperson