McDowell declares Adams is IRA chief
The Justice Minister in the 26 Counties, Michael McDowell has
declared that Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is a member of the
IRA's ruling Army Council.
Earlier this month, the state-operated "Independent Monitoring
Commission" recommended some form of political discrimination
against Sinn Fein following allegations by Fianna Fail leader
Bertie Ahern that Sinn Fein leaders had conspired in the
Northern Bank robbery before Christmas.
Today, Mr McDowell went further by naming Sinn Fein President
Gerry Adams, chief negotiator Martin McGuinness and Kerry North
TD Martin Ferris as members of a seven-man IRA Army Council.
He said: "We're talking about a small group of people, including
a number of elected representatives, who run the whole
"We're talking about Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams, Martin
Ferris and others."
The remarks are he strongest attack yet by the Dublin government
on Sinn Fein.
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said he rejected McDowell's
"Michael McDowell has been very hostile against SF and this type
of language from him is not a surprise," Mr McGuinness added.
"I'm not a member of the IRA. I was many years ago. I am one of
the leaders of Sinn Fein. I have met with the IRA to try and
bring about a cessation," he said.
In a related move, the British government is set to block funds
paid to Sinn Fein's Westminster MPs, according to reports.
A financial "sanction" is expected to be announced in the
Westminster parliament on Tuesday by British Direct Ruler Paul
Sinn Fein, which has four MPs, has already been denied expenses
from the suspended Belfast assembly and this is likely to be
The move will cost Sinn Fein up to 500,000 pounds sterling or
almost a million US dollars per year.
Ian Paisley's DUP said Murphy must "hit Sinn Fein hard" this
"Paul Murphy's announcement on Tuesday will be keenly awaited by
all democrats," said Jeffrey Donaldson.
"The sanctions he decides on will determine in the minds of fair
minded people whether the Government is determined to punish
Sinn Fein, or just give Adams and McGuinness a slap across the
wrists," he said.