Brian Stack killing: Sinn Féin TDs deny murder involvement

Brian stack
Image caption Brian Stack was shot in the back of the neck as he left a boxing match in 1983

Two Sinn Féin TDs have angrily denied they had any involvement in the murder of a senior prison officer in the Republic of Ireland in 1983.

Dessie Ellis and Martin Ferris shouted their denials in the Dail shortly after their party leader Gerry Adams made a statement on his knowledge of the killing.

Mr Ellis said he was in prison at the time.

Both men were responding to comments made by Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell.

Mr Stack, chief prison officer at the high-security Portlaoise Prison, was shot in the back of the neck as he left a boxing match in 1983.

He was left paralysed and died 18 months later.

In his statement, Mr Adams said that during Ireland's general election campaign in February, he had emailed Irish police commissioner Noírín O'Sullivan a list of four republicans who may have been involved.

The Sinn Féin leader said he had been given the names by Austin Stack, himself a senior prison officer and son of Brian Stack.

Mr Adams said Austin Stack told him the names were given to him (Mr Stack) by journalists and Garda sources.

But Mr Stack, who with his brother, Oliver, and Mr Adams met a senior republican with knowledge of his father's murder in 2013 in Northern Ireland, denies handing over any names.

Image caption Sinn Féin TDs Dessie Ellis and Martin Ferris denied any involvement in Mr Stack's murder

At the time of the meeting, the senior republican told the brothers the IRA had not sanctioned the shooting of their father and the person responsible had been disciplined.

In his Dail statement, Mr Adams repeated that he had been given the names by Austin Stack and he denied that he had described the four as suspects.

The Sinn Féin leader said that although he had no information about the killing he wrote to the Garda commissioner because Fianna Fail and Fine Gael had sought to exploit the issue during the general election campaign.

He told the Dail that the peace process had worked without senior IRA people being publicly identified and said the issue highlighted the lack of a process for dealing with the past

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