Belfast Telegraph

Adams has information on officer's killing, says shooting victim's son

By Staff Reporter

The son of a murdered Irish prison officer has accused Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams of withholding information relating to his father's murder.

Austin Stack is the son of Brian Stack - the Portlaoise Chief Prison Officer shot dead by the IRA in 1983 - and has been involved in a war of words with the Louth TD over the names of his father's alleged killers.

Brian Stack was the only prison officer killed in the Republic during the Troubles. Controversy erupted last week after it emerged Mr Adams had emailed the names of four individuals, including politicians, who may have information in relation to the murder to the Garda Commissioner.

The former West Belfast MP said they had been provided to him by Austin Stack - who strongly denies this. Last night, Mr Stack reiterated that he "never gave any names to Gerry Adams" and has claimed that "the Deputy has information that is vital to the case".

"Gerry Adams brought us in a blacked out van to see an IRA leader who he said he trusted and was a friend. Adams told us and reaffirmed this in the media last week that he asked this IRA leader to carry out an investigation," he said.

Mr Stack said that "this man told us that he knew who murdered my father, that the perpetrators were still alive and that one of them had been disciplined".

"Gerry Adams knows this man and unless he has given his name to the Gardai then he is withholding information," he added.

Mr Stack also said that "this IRA leader clearly reported back to Adams, as we were told on our way to the meeting by Adams that we would be getting an admission, so what did this man tell Adams and has he passed this onto the Gardai?"

Finally Mr Stack said Mr Adams took notes of the meeting with the IRA leader. "Has he handed these notes over to the Gardai as they could be critical in the investigation?" he asked.

Mr Adams yesterday declined to answer questions in relation to his relationship with the senior IRA figure whom he met with the Stack family close to the border in 2013.

Last week, Mr Adams told a radio station that this IRA figure had "acknowledged that a senior IRA person had authorised the shooting, apologised for that and said that that person had been subsequently disciplined and he put on record his regrets".

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