Fine Gael's Alan Farrell denies breaching Dáil privilege following claim about Sinn Féin TDs

Deputy Farrell says he does believes Gerry Adams failed to make a 'clear and unequivocal' statement

Fine Gael's Alan Farrell denies breaching Dáil privilege following claim about Sinn Féin TDs

Alan Farrell. Image:

A Fine Gael TD has insisted his controversial actions in the Dáil yesterday were not a stunt.

Yesterday evening, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams made a personal statement in the Dáil yesterday evening in response to a number of claims by the son of IRA murder victim Brian Stack.

After Mr Adams' statement, Fine Gael's Alan Farrell used Dáil privilege yesterday to suggest Sinn Féin deputies Martin Ferris and Dessie Ellis were on Gerry Adams' list of people who may have information about the case.

The comments led to angry scenes in the Dáil, and both deputies denied any knowledge or involvement.

Speaking to Jonathan Healy on today's Pat Kenny Show, Deputy Farrell said: “The names were provided to me by a confidential source whose bonafides I trust. The information provided to me is not an email. It is what you could describe as a transcript [...] a version of.

“I had two primary reasons for doing it. The first one was that I want to see justice served for the Stack family and Mr Stack who was murdered. But I also wanted to afford the opportunity to the two deputies that I named to put on record their views on the matter."

The Fingal TD admitted he breached Dáil standing orders by not raising a point of order - but does not believe he breached Dáil privilege.

He told Jonathan: “I had no intention of making an interruption in the Dáil. I am a temporary chair, which means from time to time I stand in for the Ceann Comhairle.

"I am a stickler for the rules and I’m known for that - I don’t like breaching the rules or standing orders which I know I have done. I did not breach Dáil privilege though, and that’s something that’s completely difference."

Deputy Farrell has suggested there are many questions about the Stack case that still need answering.

He suggested: “We’re talking about a shadowy figure who Deputy Adams is in contact with, who arranged to meet with him and the Stack brothers. And that van, and that meeting, and all the rest of it. Who was that individual? Did that individual know who pulled the trigger? Did that individual discipline the person who pulled the trigger?”

He added that yesterday was an opportunity for Deputy Adams to make a "clear and unequivocal statement" on the matter - but he does not believe the Sinn Féin leader did that.

“My motivation was never political," Deputy Farrell concluded. "I do my work - I respond to my constituents. I’m not on the national profile so to speak [...] I am a Dáil deputy for six years, and a public representative for 12. My constituents know me, but not on a national stage. That’s because I’m not a grandstander - I do my job.”