Gerry Adams to be raised by murdered prison officer's family with Garda Commissioner

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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Austin and Oliver Stack sons of murdered Portlaoise chief prison officer Brian Stack.

The family of murdered Portlaoise Prison Chief Prison Officer, Brian Stack, have claimed the Gardaí have interviewed the former Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams as part of a broad investigation into the shooting of the officer in 1983.

In a statement, issued by Brian's son Austin, the family say they want to know more about the questioning of Mr Adams and several other issues when they meet with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at Garda HQ on Wednesday, July 10 at 9 am.

In a statement, the family say the Commissioner has recently received a final report from the NBCI team. The family say it was carried following the Serious Crime Review Team’s report which identified 194 errors in the original investigation.

"The family will again be seeking answers as to how key material evidence and fingerprints have gone missing, why eyewitnesses and other witnesses were not interviewed," said a statement.

Among the items on the family's agenda is Mr Adams. In the statement, the family say they want to know more about what the Gardaí have done to obtain information from the Louth TD.

"Why Gerry Adams was only interviewed very recently and in what appears to be a very choreographed interview," said a statement.

The family also want to know why the former OC of the Dublin IRA was never interviewed following his extradition back to Ireland on an unrelated matter. They claim this was despite him previously placing himself at the scene of the crime while being interviewed by Gardaí while in another jurisdiction.   

A series of meetings between Mr Adams, Austin and his brother Oliver culminated in a meeting at a secret location between the brothers and a former IRA leader in 2013. The IRA man admitted that the Provo's were responsible.

The family have pursued the matter since. Austin Stack confronted Mr Adams at a press conference in 2016 demanding that he reveal more information that would lead to those responsible being brought to justice.

The family say they also want to know why what they describe as 'critical intelligence' which they claim was passed to the Gardaí in 1990 was not acted upon.

They also claim that this evidence was 'again suppressed' when they say it was again passed to the current investigation team until the family became aware of it. 

In the statement issued by Austin Stack, the murdered man's son, the family say they want to know why the two key suspects remained 'seemingly unknown to the investigation team' until the family received credible information from three unconnected sources naming them. 

Another issue to be raised is why the Gardaí have not been able to locate one of these individuals. The family say they have provided information which they claim significantly narrowed down the person's location and living circumstances. 

The statement said the family will be eager to see what the most recent report contains. It says they will also be again seeking a full copy of the Serious Crime Review Team Report which identified the 194 errors in the original investigation and what response the Commissioner will have to the manner in which three separate Garda investigations have been carried out. 

The family say they will wait to see if the Commissioner will formally apologise for the way this case has been handled by his organisation since 1983.

Sinn Féin and the Gardaí declined to comment.