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Gerry Adams must deliver answers on Stack killing, says Irish minister

By Niall O'Connor

Published 02/12/2016

Under attack: Gerry Adams
Under attack: Gerry Adams

The Republic of Ireland's justice minister has said prison officer Brian Stack was murdered by "IRA thugs" and that Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams must come clean on any information he has in relation to the case.

Describing the murder as an "utterly unjustifiable act of pointless violence", Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald last night became the latest senior political figure in the Republic to ramp up the pressure on Sinn Fein.

Brian Stack, who was the chief prison officer at Portlaoise, was shot in the neck by the IRA in Dublin in 1983. He died from brain injuries 18 months later.

Earlier this week, it emerged Mr Adams has named senior Sinn Fein figures who may have information surrounding the murder in an email to the Garda Commissioner. Three are well-known politicians, while a fourth man is a suspected former IRA boss, reports suggested.

In the email to Commissioner O'Sullivan, Mr Adams claimed he was given the names by the victim's son, Austin Stack - who strongly denies this.

Ms Fitzgerald said revelations that Louth TD Mr Adams had linked the names of three serving Sinn Fein politicians to the killing is a serious development.

"As Justice Minister it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the details of Garda investigations, but it is fair to say that serious issues have been raised in the public domain by Deputy Adams recently which require answers," she added.

Speaking from Cuba, Mr Adams said he does not know if the politicians are being treated as "murder suspects". "These people clearly have their rights and have as I said, denied, at least those who I contacted, denied any involvement in this, and I have no reason, independent reason to doubt what they are saying," Mr Adams said.

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