06 April 2005

Belfast Telegraph

Adams meeting with family off
Sinn Fein blames media presence at monastery

By Andrea Clements
06 April 2005

Confusion today marred a meeting due to take place between a Londonderry family whose son was knifed to death and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

The family of James McGinley was due to meet Mr Adams at Clonard Monastery on Belfast's Falls Road to discuss their claims republicans in Derry are covering up for and protecting Bart Fisher who is serving a three-year sentence for killing.

But waiting media were told the meeting was not going ahead although it was confirmed that both parties were inside the monastery.

A spokesman said the media should not have been told about the meeting. He said Clonard was a place of sanctuary and a misunderstanding had taken place.

Eileen McGinley, James' mother, also said a misunderstanding had taken place. She said the meeting would be re-scheduled although she didn't know when. "We're waiting for Gerry Adams to contact us. He says he's willing to help."

A spokesperson for Sinn Fein said: "The meeting was arranged as a private meeting to allow Gerry Adams the opportunity to listen to the family. He arrived there this morning and discovered the media there. "Clonard has long been a place where individuals, organisations and religious people have met in absolute privacy to conduct business.

"There has never been a media presence at these things before.

"As a consequence of media presence the meeting between Gerry and the family didn't go ahead.

"They had a brief conversation and agreed to re-schedule for another time and another place."

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