Belfast Telegraph

IRA admits prison officer killing

The IRA has admitted killing the only prison officer murdered in the Republic during the Troubles.

Thirty years on from the attack on Brian Stack, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has expressed his "regret" to the Stack family over the killing.

The former Portlaoise chief prison officer's children, Austin and Oliver, held talks with Mr Adams and a former IRA commander in recent weeks as part of a long campaign to secure a confession.

Mr Adams said he accompanied the two brothers to a meeting with an ex-Provo boss, who admitted the IRA shot their father in the back of the neck on March 25, 1983.

Mr Stack had been crossing a busy Dublin street after leaving a boxing contest at the National Stadium when he was gunned down.

"I want to pay tribute to the Stack family - to Sheila Stack and her sons, Austin, Kieran and Oliver," said Mr Adams. "On behalf of Sinn Fein I extend my regret at the killing of Brian. I hope that these recent developments will help them achieve the closure they have sought for 30 years."

Brian Stack was left paralysed and brain-damaged from the shooting and suffered for a further 18 months before dying from his injuries at the age of 47.

Austin and Oliver Stack were driven to a bungalow at an undisclosed location in a blacked out van from Dublin's M1 motorway, where they were handed the IRA statement, printed up on a typewriter, and told to transcribe it.

The IRA statement said: "Prison officers were killed by the IRA in the north. These killings were sanctioned by the IRA leadership but none were sanctioned in the south and none was asked for in the case of your father."

It continues: "In Portlaoise a brutal prison regime saw prisoners and their families suffer greatly. This is the context in which IRA volunteers shot your father. This action was not authorised by the IRA leadership and for this reason the IRA denied any involvement. Some years later, when the Army Council discovered that its volunteers had shot Prison Officer Brian Stack, the volunteer responsible for the instruction was disciplined."


From Belfast Telegraph