Gerry Adams claims Stack murder names row being ’twisted’ by media
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has controversially claimed a damaging row between him and the son of a provisional IRA murder victim is being "twisted" by "reckless" media reports on the stand-off, writes Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Political Correspondent.
The opposition TD made the remark as he continued to insist he received the names of four individuals who may have information about the 1983 murder of prison officer Brian Stack from his son Austin - a claim repeatedly rejected by his family.
Speaking on Louth radio station LMFM from Havana, Cuba, where he is attending the funeral of Fidel Castro, Mr Adams continued to contradict the murder victim’s son over how the names came to light.
Earlier this week, it emerged Mr Adams wrote an email at the start of this year to garda commissioner Noirin O Sullivan naming four Sinn Féin members who may have information about what happened.
While the email stated the names were supplied by Brian Stack’s son Austin, this was rejected by Austin as being completely untrue, leading to fresh questions over how Mr Adams became aware of the names of people allegedly involved in the 1983 shooting.
However, responding to the controversy today, Mr Adams continued to insist the family of Mr Stack is giving an incorrect version of events and said the situation is being "twisted" by "reckless" media reports.
"I have to say I’m very disappointed. I went out to help the Stack family [when he met them to help confirm the murder was by the provisional IRA]. They did suffer a grievous injustice.
"They gave me some names of people. It is a matter of regret for me that this unfortunate man was shot and his family have suffered. But it is also a matter of disappointment that these matters have taken the twist they have taken.
"I have a very clear recollection [of how and when he was given the names]. This information was leaked (and) there has been reckless public commentary," he said.
During the same interview, Mr Adams admitted the individual who ordered the shooting was "disciplined" by the provisional IRA at the time.
However, he refused to make any comment on the four individuals he named in the email to Ms O Sullivan and whether two of them are sitting TDs.
During a Dáil leaders questions debate on Tuesday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin raised serious concerns about the murder and questioned where Mr Adams obtained the names of those who may have been involved.
"The IRA know who did it, they know who committed the murder and they should come clean," Mr Martin said at the time.