‘The State has let him down’ – Stack widow on murder of Brian Stack

    Sheila Stack wife of the late Chief Officer Brian Stack with the bronze bust after being unveiled at the Prison Service College, Portlaoise by Minister for Justice Equality and Defence Alan Shatter TD. Picture: Alf Harvey/hrphoto.ie
    Sheila Stack wife of the late Chief Officer Brian Stack with the bronze bust after being unveiled at the Prison Service College, Portlaoise by Minister for Justice Equality and Defence Alan Shatter TD. Picture: Alf Harvey/hrphoto.ie

    The widow of Portlaoise Prison Chief Officer Brian Stack, who was murdered by the IRA 33 years ago, claims the State has let him down.

    Speaking after she and her sons Austin and Oliver had a private meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week, she described her late husband as a family man.
    She said the family feels the State has let him down, despite the fact that he had served the State to the best of his ability.
    Brian Stack died 18 months after was shot in the neck as he left a boxing match in Dublin in 1983. The Provisional IRA later claimed responsibility for shooting, but no one has ever been brought to justice.

    The issue was raised around last year’s general election and dominated headlines coming up to Christmas. That led to the family being invited to meet the Taoiseach and Tánaiste.

    The Stack family has also called on Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to do ‘the honourable thing’ along with anyone else who has information, and come forward to gardai, so they can get closure on the case.

    Austin Stack has asked the Taoiseach for assurance that a wish to be seen a apolitical is not stopping the gardaí from interviewing Mr Adams, whom the family believes has information relating to the murder.

    “We are concerned that senior gardaí may be reluctant to allow him to be interviewed, because it would be seen as political,” he said.
    He confirmed the Taoiseach “gave an undertaking that the full resources of State” are given to the case.
    Austin thanked and praised all those who have supported them.

    “My father was a loving, caring and wise man, he was loved not just by his family but also by his community and colleagues. We have received a large amount of messages of goodwill and support over the last number of weeks from former colleagues and the ordinary people of Portlaoise and beyond. We would like to thank each and every one of you who got in touch, your support is very much appreciated,” a statement released on behalf of the family read.

    “Brian Stack was not a soldier, and neither was he fighting in a war. Brian Stack was a Chief Prison Officer, his job was to protect society by ensuring that some of the most dangerous criminals ever to come before Irish courts served their time fully. This meant among other things stopping the flow of guns and explosives into Portlaoise prison, Brian Stack was good at his job and was therefore targeted by the IRA for assassination.”

    The statement went on to describe Adams as “holding himself above the law” and called for him to be questioned by gardaí.
    The meeting with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice & Equality Frances Fitzgerald took place on Friday, January 13, as promised by the Taoiseach in the Dáil before Christmas.

    In a statement, the Taoiseach’s Department said that the parties had “agreed to follow-up on a number of these issues and get back to the family in the coming weeks”.

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