Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny has accused Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams of being a member of the IRA’s Army Council.
The Sunday Independent newspaper reports that Kenny made the claims at the Fine Gael party’s presidential dinner on Saturday night.
Kenny told his party supporters that he is now of the opinion that Adams was not only an IRA member but also a senior figure on its army council.
The Irish PM said: “From all the evidence I have read and from all the evidence I have heard, I believe Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA and I was led to believe he was also a member of the army council.
“Mr Adams’s calls for a truth commission in the North will count for nothing unless he is honest about his role during the Troubles, which claimed more than 3,000 lives.
“When Deputy Adams says to me he wants a truth and reconciliation commission, I’d like him to be absolutely truthful about this.”
The report adds that, in a controversial speech, Kenny also contrasted Adams’s continual denial of being in the IRA with the admission by Martin McGuinness about his senior role within the paramilitary organisation.
Kenny said: “I had a serious discussion with Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and he was forthright enough and honest enough to say he was a member of the IRA. So Gerry Adams might like to make a statement about that.”
Asked to clarify his comments by reporters, Kenny added: “I was asked a question, do I believe Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA and I said, the evidence I have read and heard led me to believe he was and was a member of the army council - and he might like to make a statement on that.”
Kenny’s comments came just a week after Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price accused Adams of IRA activities in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph newspaper in London.
Why all Irish men’s beards are red