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Adams apologises to family of Jerry McCabe and others killed by republicans

The Sinn Féin president says he is “very sorry for the pain and the loss” inflicted on families of those killed by republicans.

"I am very sorry for the pain and loss inflicted upon those families."
Image: Oireachtas screengrab

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams has issued a landmark apology to the family of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, and other members of Irish security forces who were killed by republicans during the course of the Northern Irish conflict.

Adams made the comments during Dáil expressions of sympathy on the shooting dead of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe on Friday evening.

“The death of Garda Donohoe has also provoked memories of the killing of Garda Jerry McCabe, and the wounding of Garda Ben O’Sullivan in June in 1996,” Adams said.

I want to apologise to Mrs McCabe and the McCabe family, and to Garda Ben O’Sullivan – and to the families of other members of State forces who were killed by republicans in the course of the conflict.

I am very sorry for the pain and loss inflicted upon those families.

McCabe was killed, and O’Sullivan seriously wounded, when their patrol car was attacked by the Provisional IRA as they escorted a cash delivery to a post office in Adare, Co Limerick in 1996.

As one vehicle had rammed their car from behind, another arrived and opened fire on their vehicle.

Adams said that while “no words of mine” could remove that hurt, and that “dreadful deeds cannot be undone, I want to restate that the resolve of Sinn Féin and of the majority of the Irish people is that there is never a recurrence of conflict.”

He said he wished to extend his deepest sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of Garda Donohoe, saying his death had “shocked the entire community” and left “a deep sense of shock and loss”.

‘An attack not just on the Gardaí’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny had told the Dáil that Donohoe’s murder was “an attack not just on the Gardaí, but on society itself”.

“It is equally an attack on what binds us as a people, as nation – and that is our empathy, our compassion,” the Taoiseach said.

In this murder, the people of Ireland have expressed their revulsion.  They have rallied behind the Gardaí.

The Taoiseach said he wanted to assure the family that those who had committed “this vile act will face the full rigour of the law”, promising that the murderers would serve the mandatory minimum sentence of 40 years’ jail for their crimes.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the “callous” murder had “starkly underlined” the status of Gardaí not only as “the guardians of our communities – they are the pillar of our communities.

“An attack on a member of An Garda Síochána is an attack on us, as citizens, and on the community they serve,” Gilmore said.

Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin said there was “something truly harrowing about young children being robbed of their father at such a fragile age, even more saddening in the violent circumstances through which he was taken”.

“The least we can offer to his son Niall and daughter Amy is our deep sorrow and our full, unwavering support,” he said, adding that Donohoe had died protecting Ireland from “that same dark agenda” that Garda Jerry McCabe had resisted.

Read: Dáil and Seanad to adjourn for garda detective’s funeral tomorrow

More: Det Garda Adrian Donohoe to be laid to rest on Wednesday

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Gavan Reilly

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