Stand up to criminal gangs – Gerry Adams at Burns/Moley Commemoration in South Armagh
SINN FÉIN President Gerry Adams TD today spoke at the annual commemoration for IRA Volunteers Brendan Burns and Brendan Moley, who were killed in a premature bomb explosion in 1988.
The Sinn Féin leader extended best wishes to Francis McCabe Junior who was seriously injured in a bomb attack last week.
Gerry Adams condemned the actions of the criminal gangs active along the Border.
He also criticised the campaign of vilification of republicans by a section of the media, the SDLP, Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
The Sinn Féin leader appealed for anyone with any information on these gangs or the killing of Paul Quinn or Garda Aidan Donohoe or Keith Rogers to give it to the PSNI or An Garda Síochána. He urged citizens in Border communities to stand up to the criminal gangs.
The Sinn Fein leader said:
In recent times, a section of the media, the SDLP, the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Enda Kenny have engaged in a deliberate campaign of vilification and demonisation against Sinn Féin, and the communities of north Louth and south Armagh.
Let me nail the lies of our political opponents.
· Irish republicans are not involved in criminal actions along the Border or indeed anywhere else.
· No republican is involved in fuel laundering or the destruction of our environment through the dumping of toxic sludge.
· No republican is engaged in smuggling tobacco or any other product.
· No republican is stealing farm equipment or animals.
· Those who are involved in these actions are criminals.
In recent years the criminal gangs have grown bolder and more dangerous and better organised. They were responsible for the deaths of Garda Adrian Donohoe and Paul Quinn and Keith Rogers; the shooting of Michael Bellew and the brutal beatings of others and last week’s attempted murder of Francis McCabe Junior.
Those who placed the bomb didn’t care who they killed. Their intention was to intimidate and terrorise and coerce those in south Armagh who have been taking a stand against the criminal gangs.
The vast majority of people in south Armagh support Sinn Féin. An even greater number support the Peace Process. There is no support for criminality or for those who besmirch the republican cause.
The citizens of this state deserve and demand a proper policing service. Anyone with any information on these crimes or the killing of Paul Quinn or Garda Donohoe or Keith Rogers must give it to the PSNI or An Garda Síochána. Or give it to me or others like me who will pass it on.
But the PSNI also has a challenge to meet. It must demonstrate that it can police fairly and effectively and that they do support citizens who oppose criminality.
I have met senior PSNI figures and senior gardaí on the actions of the criminal gangs. But actions and delivery are key.
If the PSNI or An Garda Síochána require more resources to tackle this problem, then those resources must be made available to them.
We need to see greater co-operation between An Garda Siochána and the PSNI and other justice and policing agencies.
I know that Martin McGuinness will be raising these issues with the Taoiseach.
The Justice Ministers must co-operate to produce a clear strategy to tackle this problem.
I certainly intend pursuing these matters with the Garda Commissioner and the Justice Minister.
And Martin McGuinness is seeking a meeting with the PSNI Chief Constable.
We must not allow criminals to destroy the opportunities for change and progress that exist. We need to stand by our neighbours. We need to ensure that the PSNI do the job they’re paid to do.
I urge the community, including the GAA and community groups and bodies, to come together and stand up for south Armagh.
Let’s make a stand together.”