Taoiseach Enda Kenny has called on Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to clarify who gave him the names of four senior provisional IRA members who may have been involved in the 1983 murder of prison officer Brian Stack.
reports that the Fine Gael leader urged the clarification to be given after Mr Adams' claim he received the names from Mr Stack's son, Austin, were denied and contradicted by the murdered prison officer's son.
Reports this morning said that in an e-mail to Garda Commissioner Noirin O Sullivan in recent months, Mr Adams provided the names of four senior IRA members who may have information about the 1983 murder of Mr Stack.
Mr Stack - who is the only prison officer to have been murdered in the Republic during the Troubles - was shot in 1983 while working as a prison officer at Portlaoise prison, but did not die until the following year.
While the provisional IRA denied its involvement for 30 years, senior members admitted responsibility for the shooting during a meeting with Austin Stack in 2003 which was organised by Mr Adams.
In the e-mail to Ms O Sullivan, Mr Adams claimed Austin Stack had given him the names of individuals who may have been involved in the murder, a position staunchly denied by Mr Stack today.
Asked to clarify on the controversy during the latest Dáil leaders questions debate this afternoon, Mr Kenny said Mr Adams - who is currently in Cuba for the funeral of Fidel Castro - must explain how he came into possession of the names.
The Taoiseach told the Dáil: "It seems to be an extraordinary development given the contradictory statements here. Austin Stack says he gave no names to Deputy Adams.
"Deputy Adams is not here today, but I do think it appropriate that if names were furnished to the garda commissioner which were not given to him by Austin Stack, that needs to be answered.
"Sinn Féin needs to address this. They will know who murdered him, know who gave the orders to execute him. They will know these things. That family deserve to know the truth," he said.
Mr Kenny was responding to a question from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who urged immediate action on the issue and demanded the Taoiseach seeks a meeting on the matter with Mr Adams.
Mr Martin said: "In March 1983 they shot Brian Stack in the back of the neck. He was the only prison officer to be murdered by the provisional IRA. It took 30 years for them to accept they murdered him, despite many denials.
"The names of four individuals were given to the garda commissioner, but Austin Stack says at no stage did he mention the names to Gerry Adams.
"It seems to me to be a very serious situation, Deputy Adams can pass on the names to the Garda Commissioner and we are all meant to go off into the night.
"The IRA know who did it, they know who committed the murder and they should come clean on it. You should meet with Deputy Adams. This was an atrocity. There was no excuse for what they did. It was cold blooded," he said.