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'I was actually in jail' - Mayhem in Dáil as FG TD links SF deputies to Brian Stack murder

Alan Farrell says that Dessie Ellis and Martin Ferris should make a statement on the matter.

FINE GAEL TD Alan Farrell used Dáil privilege to call for Sinn Féin TDs Martin Ferris and Dessie Ellis to make a statement about the 1983 murder of prison officer Brian Stack.

In heated scenes in the Dáil following a statement by Gerry Adams TD, Farrell said that he wanted to raise a “point of order”.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said that there was to be no “point of order at this stage” but allowed Farrell make a comment “very briefly”. / YouTube

The Fine Gael TD said:

I think it appropriate given that Deputy Adams has been afforded the opportunity to explain to the house his involvement and/or his discussions with individuals relating to this case, that the other individuals who are members of this house who he himself has named and which are already in the public domain, that deputies Ellis and Ferris be given an opportunity to address this house.

The Ceann Comhairle then cut him off and asked him to resume his seat before Dessie Ellis TD stood up to respond.

“I’m not going to have people put my name out there on something that I have nothing to do with,” the Dublin North-West TD said.

I refute any allegations. For the information, the man in question claims to be a solicitor, I was actually in jail for the period. In Portlaoise and before that in America so you should check your facts. You’re a disgrace.

Pasted image at 2016_12_07 05_55 PM Sinn Féin's Dessie Ellis.

Sinn Fein’s Kerry TD Martin Ferris, the other man named by Farrell, then stood up to respond:

On the record of this house. In 2013 I met with gardaí at their request regarding the death of Brian Stack, I co-operated fully with them and I have nothing to answer for, and it’s a disgrace what you have come in here naming. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Gerry Adams

In his speech, Gerry Adams repeated his earlier assertion that the names he provided to the Garda Commissioner in relation to the case were given to him by Austin Stack, the son of the murdered prison guard.

Adams said he never described these people as “suspects” and that Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin “misled the Dáil” in saying he did.

Adams also said that the meeting he arranged between Stack and a former senior IRA leader was done ‘on the basis of confidentiality’.

Stack has recently called on Adams to provide gardai with information about that former senior IRA leader.

16/7/2016. Sinn Fein Meetings

“I told the Stack brothers that I could only help on the basis of confidentiality,” Adams said in his speech this afternoon.

This was the same basis on which I had been able to assist other families. Both Austin and Oliver agreed to respect the confidential nature of the process we were going to try to put in place. Without that commitment I could never have pursued the meeting they were seeking which took place later that summer.

Adams said that such confidentiality is “an essential part of any conflict resolution process”. / YouTube

He cited the decommissioning process as an example of times when IRA members met with independent observers on a confidential basis.

“If the Taoiseach and Micheál Martin are interested in healing the legacy of the past for all families, including the Stacks, the Finucane’s, the families of the Dublin Monaghan bombs and hundreds more, then they could begin by putting in place an International based independent truth recovery process,” Adams said.

Read: Gerry Adams says he asked a Sinn Féin member about Brian Stack’s murder >

Read: Gerry Adams: I’ve been given the names of Brian Stack’s alleged killers >

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