Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein unworthy of high office until it can tell victims truth

By Austin Stack

During the course of the last two weeks the public has again seen first-hand the utter contempt that Sinn Fein - and in particular its leadership - has for the institutions of the Republic, the victims that it and its illegal army have left in their wake and its disingenuous attitude towards the truth.

It is because of this that I feel compelled to bring to the public's attention several matters which I believe need to be addressed by both Sinn Fein and its leadership.

My father was the chief prison officer in Portlaoise Prison in 1983 when he was shot on a Dublin street by the IRA. He was left severely brain-damaged and paralysed and died 18 months later.

The IRA murdered my father because he was the main stumbling block in its efforts to effect a mass breakout. The decision to murder my father was taken at a leadership level within the IRA.

It has been alleged to me by reliable sources that the person who ultimately sanctioned my dad's murder was a man who now holds a very senior Sinn Fein position and is a very recognisable figure. It has also been alleged that another senior Sinn Fein politician was present when the operation was being planned.

Gerry Adams's response when I placed this information in the public domain last week was to deflect the issue away from these two murderers whom he protects.

He firstly played the victim and tried to make out that he has suffered in a similar way to my family. It is quite painful for all of us who suffered at the hands of Sinn Fein/IRA to see it continually playing the victim. Let me be quite clear: my dad was not any enemy combatant, he never held a gun in his life, and he was a man of peace and tolerance.

Adams then told me to "move on", and secondly to "embrace" those who have harmed my family, as he has said that he did. This was a very calculated, disingenuous response, as Adams knows I have tried to do this by meeting him and allowing myself and my brother to be taken in a blacked-out van to a secret location to meet the IRA leadership.

I am a very prominent advocate of a truth commission. Adams and the IRA told my family 70% of the truth. They withheld the truth about who sanctioned my father's murder because it suited them politically.

Gerry Adams now says that he knows who these individuals are; he has incorrectly claimed that he received this information from me. I purposely refused to give him this information when asked as I believe he was always in possession of the identities of those figures. I again call on Sinn Fein to suspend these individuals pending investigation.

During my father's time working in Portlaoise Prison he would have come across Martin Ferris. In his autobiography, Ferris casts a very vindictive slur on my father's character.

Sinn Fein likes to pontificate about justice being seen to be fair. Maybe Ferris is off-message here, but surely a servant of the State like Brian Stack is entitled to the same procedures of fairness that he would afford to the murderers and criminals who reside within the ranks of Sinn Fein?

The questions I posed this week are legitimate in the context of my family's suffering, but also in the context of what this country will do on Friday in the polls. My questions were aimed at securing truth and placing information in the public domain.

The responses I received demonstrated how much the army wing is still in control of Sinn Fein and how far it is away from being considered a legitimate political party worthy of high office.

Belfast Telegraph


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