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Brian Stack: Garda's Harris sorry over shot prison officer

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

The head of the Garda Síochána (Irish police force) has offered an apology to the family of a prison officer who was shot by the IRA more than 30 years ago.

Brian Stack was crossing a street in Dublin when he was shot in the back of the neck after leaving a boxing match in 1983. He was left paralysed and died 18 months later.

No-one has been charged or convicted in relation to the killing.

Mr Stack's family met Drew Harris and senior detectives on Wednesday morning.

Mr Harris said the apology related to "the failings and shortcomings in the investigation" into Mr Stack's murder.

The meeting lasted for 90 minutes, according to Irish National Broadcaster RTÉ.

'No explanation for failings'

Ahead of the meeting, the Stack family said they wanted explanations from Mr Harris for what they said were serious failures in the investigation into the murder.

They believe:

  • Key witnesses were not interviewed
  • Material evidence had gone missing
  • Critical intelligence was not acted upon which could have provided insight as to the identity of the gunman, a motorcyclist and the person alleged to have sanctioned the murder

They said Mr Harris was unable to provide any insight into these issues.

The Stack family has now called on the Minister for Justice to appoint an independent police expert to examine the issues, RTÉ reports.

Image caption Drew Harris was appointed as the Garda Commissioner in June 2018

The family also said they had been told a file would be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, but they believe it is unlikely anyone will be prosecuted.

In a statement, Mr Harris confirmed he had met the Stack family to brief them on the ongoing murder investigation.

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

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

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