In March 1983 the chief prison officer at Portlaoise Prison, Mr. Brian Stack, was shot in the back of the neck. He was the only prison officer in the Republic of Ireland to be murdered during the Troubles by the Provisional IRA. He died in September 1984 as a result of his injuries. It has been revealed that the leader of Sinn Féin, Deputy Gerry Adams, wrote to the Garda Commissioner last February naming four people he said he understood to be suspects in the murder of Mr. Stack. What is extraordinary, of course, is that he claims the sons of Mr. Stack, Austin and Oliver, gave him the names back in 2013. The Stack brothers resolutely deny this. They never gave names to him. If he had the names in 2013, why did he not give them to the Garda Commissioner then? Why did he wait two and a half years to provide the information for the Commissioner if he was anxious to co-operate in a live murder inquiry?
The other key point I ask the Taoiseach to consider is that what happened in 2013 was, in itself, extraordinary. The leader of a parliamentary party in the House took two young men in a van with blacked out windows to an undisclosed location somewhere near the Border to meet an IRA man who told them: "We have carried out an investigation. It was a senior IRA person who authorised the murder of your dad. We have disciplined him." It was not stated how he had been disciplined. The IRA stated it regretted what had happened, apologised and that that should be the end of the matter. Did Deputy Gerry Adams send the name of the person he had met with Mr. Stack's sons to the Garda? Has the name of that individual who clearly has a lot of knowledge about the murder of Mr. Stack been sent to the Garda? Deputy Gerry Adams says he took notes of the meeting and that the individual was a friend of his who knew what had happened. Have the notes of the meeting with the individual in question who, 30 years after the murder, eventually acknowledged the IRA's authorisation of the murder of Mr. Stack been sent to the Garda Commissioner?
It is an extraordinary situation that the leader of a parliamentary party would take two individuals in a blacked out van to an undisclosed location to reveal how somebody was murdered or that somebody murdered somebody, and that the matter should rest there. This is a live murder inquiry.
Does the Taoiseach think that is acceptable? Is he satisfied that full co-operation has been given to the Garda in regard to all the information and names Deputy Adams has in order to bring the murder investigation to a proper conclusion? It is absolutely unacceptable in any normal parliamentary democracy that activity of this sort should continue as late as between 2013 and 2016.