NI Cops Save Gerry Adams From Loyalist Assassination
When a group of Ulster Freedom Fighters attempted to kill the newly elected leader of Sinn Féin, an officer from a special unit of the Royal Ulster Constabulary took credit for his life.
Members of an elite RUC team, E4 HMSU, part of the special branch, have repeatedly claimed to have rescued Sinn Féin party leader Gerry Adams during the unrest in Northern Ireland.
Following several attacks and deaths within the Irish Republican Army, it became clear that Sinn Féin Chairman Gerry Adams would be blacklisted by loyalist paramilitary organizations.
On March 11, 1984, Adams, the newly elected president, then 35, was gunned down by members of the UFF in central Belfast. Adams was on lunch break from Belfast Magistrates’ Court, where he was appearing for obstruction.
The car he was traveling in was ambushed and riddled with 20 bullets. He was shot in the neck, should, and arm. Three other people traveling with Adams were also injured.
The assassination attempt was thwarted by an RUC officer on leave and two plainclothes military police who were nearby.
Following the attack, a UFF statement designated Adams as “the IRA chief of staff, responsible for the murder campaign and therefore a legitimate target of war.” The statement warned that the UFF would “get it back”.
Adams was seriously injured and made a full recovery after surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
The E4 HMSU (which is part of the special branch of the RUC) was tasked with protecting Adams. “Jack”, a member of the unit, told the Belfast Telegraph “We have saved Gerry Adams’ life more than once. At least two, if not three times.”
Speaking of another Adams assassination attempt, “Jack” said: “The loyalists had a simple plan. It had to be simple and efficient. There was a cinema there (West Belfast) – it is now a hotel – and behind, Adams held He used an armored car – bulletproof except for the roof – and worshipers planned to pass by on motorbikes and plant a limpet mine on the roof.
“We stopped this. We saved Adams’ life.”
Other members of the E4 HMSU claimed that the RUC group did not discriminate and were only too happy to protect the leader of the Republican political party, Sinn Fein. They added that they were not involved in systematic collusion with the loyalist paramilitaries.
Another member “Ronnie” said “Collusion? If there had been collusion, we would have cut off the snake’s head. In fact, we ripped a few strips from its body and removed its rattle.”
Years after the 1984 attempt, the UFF kept its promise. There was another attempt on Adams’ life. On May 20, 1987, Brian Nelson, the UFF intelligence officer and British force search unit agent, informed his managers that an attack was imminent.
Six weeks before Adam’s attack in 1984, he said he believed he had a 90% chance of being murdered.
Two loyalist gunmen, including John “Grugg” Gregg, who was later shot in a Loyalist feud, were jailed the following year for the attempted murder.
In 2018 Adams said, “I have escaped a number of attempts to kill myself and so on. I have been blessed by some very incompetent assassins, so there are a lot of good things in life. “