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Last Updated: Friday, 10 June, 2005, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
McCabe killers 'will serve term'
Jerry McCabe
Garda Jerry McCabe was killed in 1996
The widow of an Irish police officer says she believes the prospect of early release for his IRA killers will not be part of any future negotiations.

Anne McCabe, whose husband Jerry was shot dead in 1996, was speaking amid speculation of an IRA statement about its future.

Mrs McCabe said she was certain her husband's killers would not be freed before they had served their sentence.

Four men were convicted of manslaughter and were jailed for 11 to 14 years.

Sinn Fein has been calling for their release under the Good Friday Agreement.

On Friday, Mrs McCabe said prospects for the men's release had been on the table as recently as Christmas.

"We didn't know about it, but it didn't work out because apparently the IRA are looking for more and more," she said.

Memorial service

"I was very upset that it was on the table... and they were within an hour of coming out. However, we have got undertakings since... it's taken off the table for good."

A memorial Mass will be held on Saturday for Mr McCabe, who was killed during a robbery in Adare, County Limerick. His colleague Garda Ben O'Sullivan was injured.

In a statement in March, the four prisoners apologised for the hurt and grief they caused to the men's families.

They said there was "never any intent" to attack any members of the Garda Siochana.

However, Paul Brown of the Garda Representatives' Association said their word did not "stand up to scrutiny".

The four men - Kevin Walsh, Pearse McAuley, Jeremiah Sheehy and Michael O'Neill - said they qualified for release under the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish government had an "obligation" to release them.

Last March, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the killers were to be released as part of a deal to restore Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive in 2003.

At that time, Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said the releases were conditional on the IRA decommissioning and an end of paramilitarism.

McCabe family 'trust pledges'
12 May 04 |  Northern Ireland
Adams confirms release 'deal'
11 May 04 |  Northern Ireland
'Plan' to set Garda killers free
07 May 04 |  Northern Ireland

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