Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA, says veteran republican

Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA, says veteran republican

September 17, 2019

Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA and his denials are a ‘lie’, says veteran republican adding he’ll ‘probably get shot for it’

  • Mr Adams has said throughout his career that he was never a member of the IRA
  • But a former member of IRA’s ruling army council claims he’s been lying for years
  • Des Long claims that Mr Adams at one time served as chairman of army council
  • BBC documentary also quotes intel that Mr Adams led the IRA during late 1970s 

Gerry Adams has ‘lied’ by claiming he was never a member of the IRA, it has been claimed.

The ex-Sinn Fein president has consistently said throughout his political career that he was never a member of the IRA.

But a new BBC documentary is set to air a claim by Des Long, a former member of the IRA’s ruling army council, that Mr Adams has lied about his membership.

The programme also quotes army intelligence from the time which said Mr Adams was understood to be leading the IRA in later years of the 1970s.

Mr Long claimed in an interview during the programme that Mr Adams was at one stage the chairman of the IRA’s army council.

Gerry Adams (pictured in May) has ‘lied’ by claiming he was never a member of the IRA, it has been claimed

‘You can’t be on the army council unless you are a volunteer, and you can’t be chairman of the army council unless you are a member of the army council,’ he says.

‘And I sat opposite him in meetings, this lie that he comes out with that he was never in the IRA. That’s a lie.

‘I say that now as having sat opposite him in meetings, probably get shot for it, but I’m saying it.’

Adams was charged with IRA membership in 1978 but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence. 

In May this year, he told the Ballymurphy inquest: ‘I was not a member of the IRA; I have never disassociated myself with the IRA, and I never will, until the day I die.’

Mr Adams declined to be interviewed for the BBC Spotlight programme. 

Gerry Adams and West Belfast MP Martin McGuinness (right) at the funeral of Patrick Kelly in 1987

Last week, the first episode of the seven-part series marking the 50th anniversary of the start of the Troubles contained a claim that the Rev Ian Paisley funded a UVF bomb attack as well as airing footage of Martin McGuinness showing a gun to children.

Mr Paisley and Mr McGuinness went on to play key roles in the powersharing Stormont Executive as first and deputy first ministers.

Both men have since died.

Mr Paisley’s son Ian criticised the claim that his father funded a UVF bomb attack as ‘complete and total poppycock’.

The second episode of Spotlight On The Troubles: A Secret History will be shown on BBC One Northern Ireland and across the UK on BBC 4 on September 17 at 9pm. 

The pariah turned peacemaker: The life and times of Gerry Adams 

Gerry Adams was a hated figure for many Protestants in Northern Ireland during the province’s three-decade long Troubles.

But he is credited with eventually convincing the IRA to give up their armed campaign and use purely political means to pursue the aim of uniting Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.

Born in Belfast on October 6, 1948, Adams came from a staunch republican background.

His father was an IRA man who was jailed for eight years for his role in an ambush.

As a teenager, Adams became involved in the 1960s Catholic civil rights movement seeking to end discrimination favouring the pro-British Protestant majority.

He married Collette McArdle in 1971 and had one son, Gearoid, born two years later.

Adams was interned without trial in 1972 and 1973, in the early years of the Troubles.

He was charged with IRA membership in 1978 but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Adams always publicly said he was never an IRA member.

Malachi O’Doherty, author of ‘Gerry Adams: An Unauthorised Life’, told AFP: ‘He is committed to preserving the reputation of the IRA.’

O’Doherty believes Adams was an IRA member but was always ‘more politically than militarily inclined’.

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