Adams apologises to McCabe family

Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 00:00

The Sinn Féin leader apologised in the Dáil yesterday to the family of Det Garda Jerry McCabe who was killed by the IRA in an attempted robbery at Adare, Co Limerick, in 1996.

Gerry Adams also apologised to former detective garda Ben O’Sullivan who was injured in the incident.

“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 the State forces who were killed by republicans in the course of the conflict.

“I am very sorry for the pain and loss inflicted on those families. No words of mine can remove that hurt. Dreadful deeds cannot be undone.’’

Mr Adams made his remarks during a series of statements condemning the killing of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe and expressing sympathy with his family.

Mr Adams said he wanted to restate the resolve of Sinn Féin and the majority of Irish people to ensure there would never be a recurrence of conflict. “Members of An Garda Síochána do a dangerous job. They take risks for all of us.’’

He said Det Garda Donohoe had shown great courage when he confronted armed criminals at Lordship.

‘What binds us’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Det Garda Donohoe’s murder was not just an attack on the Garda it was also an attack on the people and society. “It is equally an attack on what binds us as people and a nation, that is our empathy and compassion.’’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the irreplaceable loss felt by Det Garda Donohoe’s family was also felt by his colleagues throughout the State.

The murder was also condemned by other members of the House including Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Independent TD Mattie McGrath on behalf of the Technical Group, and Louth TDs.

Later Fianna Fáil moved a Private Member’s motion, submitted in advance of Det Garda Donohoe’s murder, opposing the closure of Garda stations. Mr Shatter criticised Fianna Fáil for not withdrawing the motion.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins said Mr Shatter was responsible for removing the stations from communities. This was being done against the people’s will and the advice of many of his Fine Gael colleagues.

Significant deterrentMr Collins said a Garda presence in communities was a significant deterrent factor when dealing with crime.

“What you are saying to elderly and vulnerable people is to contact the Garda on Facebook and on Twitter and that clinics would be held. There is no policing or financial argument which stands up what you are doing.’’

Mr Shatter said of the 100 stations to be closed this year 98 per cent were open part-time, 94 per cent for three hours daily or less, 88 per cent were served by one garda and only 5 per cent were served by three or more Garda personnel. “I find it extraordinary that any member of this House should think a station opened for three hours in the mornings is a deterrent to criminal activity.’’

Some critics, said Mr Shatter, had said the closures would only save small amounts of money, which was missing the point.

“The objective is to maximise the time that our well- trained and highly skilled gardaí spend on operational duties. It is about smart policing and the most efficient and effective deployment of Garda resources.’’