herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

'Liar' Adams urged to 'come clean' over victims of the IRA

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Photo: PA
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Photo: PA

Families who lost loved ones to IRA violence have called on Gerry Adams to "come clean" before he steps down as Sinn Fein leader.

Mr Adams' decision to retire after 35 uncontested years at the helm of the party has been widely welcomed.

However, relatives of some of the IRA's most high-profile victims have told the Herald that the move brings them no closer to justice.

Despite Mr Adams' denials of IRA membership, the families of Det Gda Jerry McCabe, mother-of-10 Jean McConville, prison officer Brian Stack and 21-year-old Paul Quinn believe he could help jail their killers.

Cudgels

"He knows who the murderers are. All of them. Why doesn't he come clean now and say who they are," said Mr Quinn's father, Stephen.

"I'm glad to see him going. He's nothing, only a liar."

Mr Quinn was beaten to death by an IRA gang in a barn in Co Monaghan in 2007.

Every bone below his neck was broken by the gang, which used iron bars and nail-studded cudgels.

He had fallen foul of the Provos after punching the son of the south Armagh IRA commander.

Det Gda McCabe's wife, Anne, said his murder in 1996 left behind five children "during Gerry Adams' leadership of Sinn Fein".

"Four men were convicted of his killing and received prison sentences. These four killers were strongly supported by Gerry Adams and Martin Ferris," she said.

"Two men are still on the run and are wanted for questioning by An Garda Siochana."

Mr Ferris, who spent time in prison for gun-gunning, was embraced on stage on Saturday as it was announced that he will not contest the next election.

"I can't retire from my continuing heartbreak and mental agony over my beloved husband's murder," Mrs McCabe said.

The son-in-law of Mrs Mc- Conville, who was kidnapped and murdered by the IRA in 1972, said Mr Adams will "just take his secrets with him".

Seamus McKendry, who has long campaigned on behalf of the Disappeared, said: "It would be nice if he just left a file and said, 'Ye deal with that', but it won't happen."

Mrs McConville (37) was dragged from her home in Belfast by an IRA gang of up to 12 men and women and accused of passing information to the British Army.

She was shot in the back of the head and 'disappeared'. Her remains were eventually found on Shelling Hill beach in Co Louth by a member of the public in August 2003.

Arrested

Mr Adams was arrested as part of the PSNI investigation in 2014, leading Sinn Fein figures, including Mary Lou McDonald, to allege political policing.

Only last week, a court heard that veteran republican Ivor Bell (80), who is charged in connection with the murder of Mrs McConville, is not medically fit to stand trial.

Mr McKendry described Mr Adams as "an embarrassment to Sinn Fein".

Asked whether he thought the departing leader will ever offer the family new information, he replied: "I don't think it will ever happen. There's too much baggage there."

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