Gerry Adams may halt work with Troubles victims’ families

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams may refuse to help other families of Troubles murder victims due to the fallout from his role in the Brian Stack controversy.

Mr Adams made the comment as he claimed the 1983 shooting of the Portlaoise prison officer in Dublin City is covered by peace process deals and labelled rival politicians’ attempts to uncover what happened as “play-acting”.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s This Week programme, Mr Adams said he believes he has “delivered” the “closure” the Stack family have been seeking since their father was shot 33 years ago.

Asked if the stand-off with the Stack family, who insist Mr Adams is withholding information, will make him reluctant to help other families, he said it will “make it very difficult”.

“It’s unlikely, but I don’t know,” he said. “If somebody comes to you and tells you their sad story, you try and bring as much comfort and closure and truth as is possible. When it’s all subverted as this is, it makes it very difficult.”

Mr Adams said Stormont agreements between the Republic and Britain cover the shooting of Mr Stack in the same way as murders, assaults, and linked criminality in the North.

This view has been strongly challenged by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, which insist Mr Stack’s murder had nothing to do with the Troubles and was, according to Sinn Féin, unauthorised, meaning it was a crime without any political overtures.

However, Mr Adams said the rival parties’ positions mean “they’ve just torn up [the deals] by ridiculous play-acting”.

The Sinn Féin leader said he has no intention of releasing any further information. Asked if this includes the name of the provisional IRA member who investigated the murder and how the person who shot Mr Stack was “disciplined”, he said: “I learned over the years if you don’t know you can’t tell.”

Meanwhile, a growing controversy over why Sinn Féin TDs Dessie Ellis and Martin Ferris were named in the Dáil in relation to the case grew yesterday after it was alleged Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell received the information from a journalist.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said he was asked to reveal names in the Dáil. The Dáil’s cross-party committee on procedure and privileges is due to meet with Mr Farrell in the coming days over the matter.

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