Friday, December 29, 2017

State papers: Gerry Adams accused of 'setting up' IRA men for slaughter by SAS

Gerry Adams was rumoured to have set up a notorious IRA gang for ambush by the SAS as it tried to blow up a police station in May 1987, previously secret files reveal.

Eight members of the Provisionals' East Tyrone Brigade were shot dead after they loaded a 200lb bomb onto a stolen digger and smashed through the gates of the RUC barracks in Loughgall, Co Armagh.

British army special forces were lying in wait and killed them all, along with innocent bystander Anthony Hughes.

Declassified documents, released through the National Archives in Dublin, showed ballistic tests found that weapons discovered on the dead had been used in 40 to 50 murders, including every republican killing in Fermanagh and Tyrone in 1987.

Three civilian contractors had been murdered in the counties that year, along with officers in the RUC and British army's Ulster Defence Regiment.

The rumour about Mr Adams was passed on to Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs by respected cleric Fr Denis Faul about three months after the Loughgall operation.

The priest, who had been at school in St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, with Pádraig McKearney, one of the IRA gang, said the theory doing the rounds was that "the IRA team were set up by Gerry Adams himself".

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