Garda Jerry McCabe, Murdered 1996, Sinn Fein, Provisional IRA
The Provisional IRA Army Council, including Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, sanctioned the post office van robbery in Adare, County Limerick on the 7 June 1996, which resulted in the cold-blooded murder of Garda Jerry McCabe on that date. The Provisional IRA Unit had been specifically warned by Martin McGuinness not to allow themselves to be arrested, as such an arrest could have far-reaching political implications for Sinn Fein/Provisional IRA.The senior member of Provisional IRA southern command, who directed the details of the operation in Adare, is presently On-the-Run having been charged with Child Rape. One of the gang members, Pearse McAuley is presently serving 12-years in The Republic for torturing and stabbing his wife 12-times in front of their two young children.
I know that the robbery was sanctioned by the Provisional IRA Army Council, as my cousin, Kevin McKenna, was Provisional IRA Chief of Staff in 1996 and I was a runner between Kevin McKenna and Head of Northern Command, Martin McGuinness between 1992-1997.
I can further say that Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Kevin McKenna and others visited Kevin Walsh while he was On-the-Run and hiding at a safe-house in Mullagh, County Cavan. Kevin Walsh had complained to Kevin McKenna that he felt let down by Adams and McGuinness, as they had sanctioned the robbery, yet they would not help Walsh to get out of the country.I can say with authority that when a Garda Agent became aware of Walsh’s hiding place Gardai swooped on the farm house in Mullagh, County Cavan.
Detective Garda Jerry McCabe (22 November 1943 – 7 June 1996) was a member of the Garda Síochána, the national police force of Ireland. McCabe was killed in Adare, County Limerick on 7 June 1996, by members of the Provisional IRA, during the attempted robbery of a post office van.
Detective Garda McCabe was born in Ballylongford, County Kerry on 22 November 1943. He was married to Anne, a daughter of a Garda. The couple lived in Limerick and had five children, John, Mark, Ian, Stacy, and Desmond, known as Ross. John and Ross are serving members of the Garda Síochána.
The two detectives were escorting an An Post van carrying IR£81,000 at 6:50 am on the morning of 7 June 1996 in Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland, when Detective Garda Ben O'Sullivan noticed a Pajero heading towards them from behind. The car collided with them. Two men wearing balaclavas jumped out of the Pajero, and fired 15 rounds from an AK-47 at the detectives. Three rounds hit Jerry McCabe, killing him. His colleague, O'Sullivan was seriously injured, having been hit 11 times.
One bullet strayed and lodged in the Garda patrol car, a Ford Mondeo. They were fired on full automatic by the gunman. Detective O'Sullivan, who was driving the car, has said that he is convinced it was deliberate, controlled shooting.
Shortly after the shooting, a Mitsubishi Lancer arrived and the would-be robbers made their getaway in it. No money had been stolen by them, but both vehicles used at the crime scene had been stolen.
The Gardaí had been armed with .38 Smith and Wesson revolvers and an Uzi, but the trial concluded that they had not had time to use them.
Bullet casings found at the scene were unique to the IRA in Ireland at the time. Up to 50,000 people lined the streets of Limerick for McCabe's funeral.
The killing of Detective McCabe happened four months after the breakdown of the first IRA ceasefire in 1996. The IRA Army Council initially denied involvement, however, only the most politically illiterate would believe that such a politically sensitive operation did not get the green light from Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.
In his traditional two-tongue approach, Gerry Adams, initially denounced the murder of Jerry McCabe, however, the Sinn Fein Leadership later lobbied for the early release of McCabe's murderers under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. The murderers were held in the luxury of private bungalows at Castlereagh Prison, due to the corruption and double dealing of corrupt politicians such as Bertie Ahern and John O’Donoghue.
Pearse McAuley from Strabane and three County Limerick men – Jeremiah Sheehy, Michael O'Neill and Kevin Walsh – were convicted by the Special Criminal Court of manslaughter. McAuley had escaped from Brixton Prison in 1991 while awaiting prosecution over the IRA's campaign in England and had jumped bail in the Republic of Ireland two months before the shooting. McAuley is in 2022 serving 12-years for stabbing and torturing his wife in front of their two young children.
O'Neill was released from prison on 15 May 2007, with Sheehy released on 4 February 2008. Walsh and McAuley were released on 5 August 2009 after completing their full sentence. Sinn Féin had campaigned for their release under the Good Friday Agreement despite the Irish government's insistence that these prisoners were excluded during the negotiations for the Agreement. The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland accused the Irish government of "double standards" by not granting those responsible for the killing early release like paramilitary prisoners in Northern Ireland.
McCabe's widow Anne has been praised for the way she conducted herself since the shooting. In New York in 2006, she challenged Gerry Adams as to why his organisation was calling for the release of the men convicted of the killing. In 2000, she accepted the Gold Scott Medal on her husband's behalf. The Scott Medal is the highest honour bestowed by the Republic of Ireland on a Garda who has shown exceptional courage and heroism risking their lives in their work as police officers.
An academic exchange programme in honour of the slain detective was established in 1996 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The purpose of the exchange is to promote the sharing of practices and technologies in policing and criminal justice between Ireland and the United States. Jerry McCabe's son John was the first recipient of the fellowship in 1997.