Belfast Telegraph

Detectives 'are co-operating with Garda inquiry into Brian Stack murder'

Gardai investigating the IRA murder of a prison officer more than 30 years ago have denied allegations that some detectives are refusing to co-operate with the inquiry.

Brian Stack, a chief prison officer in Portlaoise, was shot in the neck in March 1983 and died 18 months later.

His son Austin, who has campaigned for years to bring those responsible to justice, claimed he had been told that significant information from an IRA informer had been put on a Garda file on the killing as far back as 1990.

Mr Stack claimed he raised this information with an investigation team in January 2016. He said gardai did not acknowledge having the information until March 2017.

He alleged that the murder investigation was being frustrated by efforts to protect an informer.

In a statement on the claims, the Garda said it does not comment on the detail of ongoing investigations in order to protect them.

The force also said it does not comment on remarks by third parties.

But it added: "The investigators leading the investigation relating to the death of Mr Brian Stack are satisfied that they have been provided with all the relevant information they require from within An Garda Siochana.

"The investigation team is receiving the co-operation of all relevant sections within An Garda Siochana in order to pursue all possible lines of inquiry."

The Garda said officers were in regular contact with the Stack family to keep them informed of developments.

"An Garda Siochana is determined to bring the investigation into the death of Mr Brian Stack to a successful conclusion," it added.

It was not until 2013 that the IRA admitted responsibility for Mr Stack's murder.

He was left paralysed and brain-damaged by the shooting as he crossed a road outside the National Stadium in Dublin in late March 1983. He suffered for 18 months before dying from his injuries at the age of 47.

The admission was made after Austin Stack was driven with his brother Oliver to a location in Northern Ireland with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams for a secret meeting.

Mr Stack has previously claimed that a minority of gardai and prison officers colluded with the Provos in the early 1980s.

He said botched investigations into atrocities were more than simply poor policing and called for a public inquiry.

Mr Stack made the claim at the Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement in November.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan vowed to make sure the investigation was not being impeded.

"There's a live garda investigation here and I'm very anxious that anybody who is in any position to provide any information or evidence on the murder of Brian Stack would do so at the earliest opportunity," he said.

"I am assured by the garda authorities this morning that there is no credence in any suggestion that there is any impediment on the part of the gardai.

"I am of course concerned at reports that there would be any form of impediment to a garda investigation and I'll make sure there isn't."

Mr Flanagan said he would meet the Stack family.

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