Adams should admit to IRA role, says Enniskillen bombing victim’s daughter

Aileen Quinton says Sinn Féin president should take any evidence of serious crime he has to the police

Aileen Quinton holding her mother Alberta’s patch on a memorial quilt made by the South East Fermanagh Foundation, a victims’/survivors’ group in that area. Photograph: South East Fermanagh Foundation

Aileen Quinton holding her mother Alberta’s patch on a memorial quilt made by the South East Fermanagh Foundation, a victims’/survivors’ group in that area. Photograph: South East Fermanagh Foundation

 

The daughter of a woman killed in the 1987 Poppy Day bombing in Enniskillen has described Gerry Adams as an “evil man” who should “come clean” about his role in the IRA.

Aileen Quinton’s 72-year-old mother Alberta was one of the 12 people killed in the Provisional IRA attack during the Remembrance Day service in the town.

Mr Adams, who stands down as Sinn Féin president this week after more than three decades as party leader, has always denied being a member of the IRA.

Ms Quinton said that, “like most people”, she had never believed Mr Adams was not a senior IRA figure, and he should hand over any information he had on IRA activity to the police.

“He should come clean and he should take any evidence of serious crime he has to the police,” she said.

Real peace has justice at its core, and yet they say they can’t do this or that because it’ll endanger the peace process. What kind of peace is it that’s only sustained by fear?

“That should be the expectation of anybody in public office or leaving public office. If you have information about serious crime isn’t it a crime not to share it, so isn’t he still committing a crime every day?”

Ms Quinton said she regarded Mr Adams as an “evil man” for continuing to give support to those who killed her mother. “He is responsible, if you support terrorism and you make excuses for it you are responsible to that degree.”

Alberta Quinton
Alberta Quinton

“I don’t know what involvement he did or didn’t have in planting the bomb in Enniskillen – though it wouldn’t surprise me if he knew about it beforehand – but he is a fellow traveller with terrorists and he’s behind the supporting of terrorists and eulogising of terrorists that is still going on, as his successor has shown,” she said, referring to recent criticism of the incoming Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald for attending IRA commemorations.

Peace process

Ms Quinton said tributes paid to Adams for his role in the peace process were like “praising somebody who set the fire for ringing the fire brigade”.

“It’s a dangerous situation where logic has been completely upended to make out the villains as heroes,” she said.

Nobody has ever been convicted of involvement in the Enniskillen bombing.

Ms Quinton said she felt that victims “came last” in Northern Ireland.

“Real peace has justice at its core, and yet they say they can’t do this or that because it’ll endanger the peace process. What kind of peace is it that’s only sustained by fear?

“I wouldn’t mind victims coming second if justice came first, but we have been denied justice because of the Belfast Agreement, which is the most disgraceful victory for terrorism.

“But whatever is left of the potential for justice is still worth campaigning for,” she said.