Adams and McGuinness ‘ordered transportation of explosives’

Sinn Féin denies allegations by former IRA member that he was given direct orders

Sinn Féin has denied the claims of a former IRA member that he was ordered by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness to transport explosives. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin has denied a claim by a former IRA member that he was given direct orders by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to transport IRA explosives to Britain.

Peter Rogers, who was convicted of the 1980 murder of Detective Garda Seamus Quaid, said today that Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness instructed him the same year to bring explosives to England for a bombing campaign.

Mr Rogers (69), said he expressed concerns at a meeting in Dublin that the liquid explosives were “unstable” and feared that he could be killed in a premature explosion or that he might be arrested in possession.

“When I met with them, Gerry wanted to know what the delay was,” Mr Rogers told the BBC. He asked for replacement explosives. He said Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness listened to his comments and then spoke together out of his hearing before taking a decision.


“Gerry said, ‘look Peter, we can’t replace that explosive, you will have to go with what you have and as soon as you can get it across, the better’, so as far as I was concerned, I was given a direct order,” Mr Rogers said.

Shortly thereafter Garda detectives stopped his van in Wexford while he was transporting the explosives. Mr Rogers said that he killed Det Gda Quaid in an ensuing gun battle.

Sinn Fein said today that Mr Rogers’s claims were untrue. “There is no truth in these allegations. Gerry Adams has already publicly refuted these claims,” said a spokesman.

Mr Rogers was originally sentenced to death for capital murder but this was commuted to a 40-year prison term. Nine years into his sentence served in Portlaoise Prison he removed himself from the republican wing and left the republican movement.

He was released under the early release scheme of the 1998 Belfast Agreement. He later wrote to the Quaid family apologising for the murder but the family rejected the apology.

In early February this year the Quaid family objected to the Sinn Fein ardfheis being held in the Wexford Opera House. They asked that a plaque honouring Det Garda Quaid be removed from the building. Mr McGuinness at the time apologised for the murder.

“Garda Quaid was an innocent victim. So it’s absolutely appropriate that republicans should apologise for what happened to him and apologise directly to his family,” he said.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times