Sinn Féin claims IRA doesn’t exist ‘blatant lie’

The son of the only prison officer murdered in the Republic during the Troubles has said Sinn Féin claims the Provisional IRA no longer exists are a “blatant lie”.

Sinn Féin claims IRA doesn’t exist ‘blatant lie’

Austin Stack issued the stark claim after revealing he and his brother Oliver were driven to an undisclosed location in a blacked-out van two years ago to receive a Provisional IRA statement admitting the organisation’s role in their father Brian’s 1983 death.

The meeting, he said, had been organised after weeks of discussions with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

Brian Stack, a chief prison officer at Portlaoise prison, was shot on March 25, 1983, while crossing a busy street after attending an amateur boxing bout at the national stadium in Dublin.

He died 18 months later, aged just 48, after suffering severe brain injuries.

Responding to Sinn Féin’s comments that the Provisional IRA has not existed since it was decommissioned in 2005, Austin Stack said that this is simply untrue.

“The facts are that my brother and I actually met the IRA [in 2013], so for Sinn Féin to now claim that they went away after the ceasefire is a blatant lie,” he said.

“I met the IRA in August 2013, the IRA used its structures to get me information. Gerry Adams organised this meeting. Are Adams and Brian Stanley [the Sinn Féin TD who spoke on behalf of the party yesterday] now claiming this meeting never happened,” he asked.

Mr Stack said during the meeting with a former IRA commander two years ago he and his brother were given a statement from the organisation — which was printed up on a typewriter — and told to write it down.

The statement said the murder of Brian Stack was “not authorised by the IRA leadership and for this reason the IRA denied any involvement”, but those involved acted under orders from lower down officials.

A Sinn Féin spokesperson said Mr Adams accompanied the Stacks to a meeting with a “former IRA leader” after they “asked Gerry for his assistance”.

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