Garda Commissioner offers apology to family of murdered prison officer Brian Stack

The family of murdered prison officer Brian Stack will meet with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris later to get answers over his killing.

Garda Commissioner offers apology to family of murdered prison officer Brian Stack

Update 11.15am: Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said he offered an apology to the family of murdered prison officer Brian Stack over "the failings and shortcomings in the investigation".

Mr Stack, who worked at Portlaoise prison, was shot in the neck by the IRA in Dublin in 1983 and died 18 months later.

His family met with the commissioner this morning to discuss the investigation.

In a statement, Commissioner Harris said: "Along with senior detectives, I met with the Stack family this morning to provide them with a briefing on the ongoing investigation into the murder of Mr Brian Stack.

"I offered the Stack family an apology for the failings and shortcomings in the investigation.

Drew Harris
Drew Harris

"I fully acknowledge that these matters are serious and had a detrimental impact on the investigation.

"This investigation remains open and An Garda Síochána would appeal for anyone with information in relation to the murder of Mr Brian Stack to come forward.”

Mr Stack's family has said that they want an apology from the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and for the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to agree to an investigation by an independent policing expert from outside the State.

Austin Stack, a son of Brian, told RTÉ radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that Garda Commissioner Drew Harris had told them in a 90-minute meeting on Wednesday that he would support such an investigation.

Austin Stack
Austin Stack

The family say they were told gardaí will submit a file to the DPP but do not believe there is enough evidence to bring a prosecution.

Mr Stack welcomed a verbal apology from the Garda Commissioner at the meeting and said it was important now that the State make a formal apology.

The next step is for the Taoiseach to do something similar.

The meeting with the Commissioner had been “full and frank” and was attended by the widow of Brian Stack and sons Austin, Kieran and Oliver.

- with reporting from Vivienne Clarke

Earlier: The family of murdered prison officer Brian Stack will meet with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris later to get answers over his killing.

Mr Stack, who worked at Portlaoise prison, was shot in the neck by the IRA in Dublin in 1983 and died 18 months later.

His son, Austin, has previously accused the Gardaí of frustrating the inquiry into his murder.

He claims a past report by the serious crime review team found 194 errors in the original investigation, and that a final report is now before the commissioner.

Austin said that at today's meeting, he wants the latest details of the garda investigation and an apology from the commissioner over the way it was handled.

"We want answers as to why the investigation has been mishandled in such a manner and why one element of An Garda Síochána is not cooperation with another," said Austin.

"And obviously we will also be looking for a sincere, genuine and very, I suppose, heartfelt apology if the Commissioner is prepared to give it to us, for that mishandling of the case."

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