Family of prison officer killed by IRA question Garda inquiry
Two of Brian Stack’s sons were driven to a bungalow at an undisclosed location in a blacked out van where they were handed IRA statement accepting responsibility for his killing
Austin and Oliver Stack (left to right), sons of Brian Stack, a prison officer murdered by the IRA, speak to the media outside Leinster House today. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The family of a senior prison officer who was murdered by the Provisional IRA in early 1980s has called on the Garda to explain the failings in its original investigation into the killing.
Brian Stack, then chief officer of Portlaoise Prison, was shot outside the national boxing stadium in Dublin on March 25th, 1983. He died from his injuries 18 months later.
Austin Stack, one of Brian Stack’s three sons, said the family had achieved an “element of closure” after the IRA admitted for the first time that its members carried out the killing. However, he said the Garda has never provided an adequate explanation for the shortcomings in its inquiries into the killing.
While the investigation was initiated at Kevin Street station in Dublin, he questioned why it went no further Newland’s Cross on the outskirts of the city and never pursued inquiries at Portlaoise prison itself.
“It appears to the Stack family that the original investigation was seriously compromised from the outset - a damning indictment for what at the time a capital murder charge case, the most serious criminal charge in the State,” Mr Stack told reporters outside Leinster House this afternoon. “Brian Stack was a proud and loyal servant of this State, a role model in his community and a dedicated family man.”
He called on Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to meet the family to provide it with an update on the current investigation into the murder.
A Garda spokesman declined to respond to the family’s statement. “A detective superintendent has been appointed to investigate and liaise with the family. The investigation and liaison is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”
In a statement to the Stack family early last week, the IRA said its members were acting on orders when they carried out the attack. However, the statement said the attack was not authorised by the leadership of the parliamentary organisation. “Some years later, when the Army Council discovered that its volunteers had shot prison officer Brian Stack, the volunteer responsible for the instruction was disciplined,” the IRA statement said.
Speaking alongside his brother Oliver outside Leinster House this afternoon, Austin Stack told how the family members received the statement last week from a former senior IRA leader at a meeting with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
He and his brother were driven in a blacked-out van to an undisclosed location off the M1 motorway near Dundalk. The ex-IRA leader read the statement to them over a table in the private one-storey house, before asking them to transcribe it for themselves.