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Image: Laura Hutton via Photocall Ireland

Ombudsman finds 'no evidence' that RUC involved in murder attempt on Gerry Adams

The Sinn Féin Leader believes that the report is incomplete.
Jun 19th 2014, 8:27 AM 6,408 89

THE POLICE OMBUDSMAN has found no evidence that the RUC was involved in a loyalist attack on Gerry Adams in 1984.

The Sinn Féin leader described the report as ‘incomplete’.

The paramilitary Ulster Freedom Fighters opened fire on a car that Adams was in that was travelling from a Belfast court.

The driver managed to get to hospital despite being hit.

Adams was hit in the neck, shoulders and arm.

An off-duty Ulster Defence Regiment soldier chased the attackers.

An off-duty policeman and two soldiers in plain clothes also arrived on the scene.

The three men were all arrested and sentenced to prison.

The investigation was conducted after a complaint by Adams when two newspaper articles – published in December 2006- stated that members of the RUC knew about the attack before it happened.

Adams made a formal request to the Ombudsman’s office for this to be investigated.

He said he felt “something was not quite right” about the entire incident and wondered how security force personnel “coincidentally” appeared at the scene that day.


Adams is not satisfied with the report and has called on the North Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire to set aside his conclusions until he has had access to British Army files and other pertinent intelligence records.

The Sinn Féin Leader said that the Ombudsman “did not have access to British Army files or those relating to the Force Research Unit which was the British intelligence agency principally responsible for running agents and informers”.

Gerry Adams said that the Ombudsman also looked at two other allegations arising from newspaper reports by journalists and not raised by him:

These were that the RUC knew of the attack one week in advance ‘due to a Special Branch informant’ and that the bullets were ‘doctored by the authorities to reduce their velocity and dumb them down.’ It rejected both.

However Adams says that the report only deals with one of the three areas of concern that he brought to its attention in a letter on 18 December 2006.

The Ombudsman identifies these as:

  • Chief Constable Jack Hermon refused to acknowledge that Mr. Adams had been shot during a terrorist attack and didn’t issue a certificate to support Mr. Adams’ claim for criminal injuries.
  • RUC officers unnecessarily stopped and searched Mr. Adams’ visitors at the RVH, making him feel like a prisoner rather than a victim of an attack.’
  • A previous Police Ombudsman had decided that two and three were not ‘grave or exceptional’ and consequently they were not investigated. This was a mistake. For a Chief Constable to refuse to confirm that a person has been shot was shameful and a grave misconduct in public office. It warranted investigation.

Gerry added that “equally the treatment by RUC officers of my family and of visitors to me in the hospital was outrageous and intimidatory. It also deserved to be thoroughly investigated.

In my opinion this report is incomplete. The Ombudsman should seek access to British Army files and other pertinent intelligence records and set aside his conclusions until this is done.

“I will write to him formally asking him to do this”.

Read: Gerry Adams takes legal action against two newspapers>

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Cliodhna Russell


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