Radio Sandwell News

Gerry Adams held over Jean McConville murder

2014-05-01 00:36:34

Gerry Adams
Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTE before his arrest, Mr Adams said he was "innocent of any part" in the murder of Mrs McConville

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has been arrested by Northern Ireland police in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.

He presented himself to police on Wednesday evening and was arrested.

Speaking before his arrest, Mr Adams said he was "innocent of any part" in the murder.

Mrs McConville, a 37-year-old widow and mother-of-10, was abducted from her flat in the Divis area of west Belfast and shot by the IRA.

Her body was recovered from a beach in County Louth in 2003.

Police said a 65-year-old man presented himself to Antrim police station on Wednesday evening and was arrested.

'Malicious allegations'

In a statement, Sinn Féin said: "Last month Gerry Adams said he was available to meet the PSNI about the Jean McConville case. That meeting is taking place this evening."

Mr Adams added: "I believe that the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice to her and her family.

"Well publicised, malicious allegations have been made against me. I reject these.

"While I have never disassociated myself from the IRA and I never will, I am innocent of any part in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs McConville."

His party colleague Alex Maskey condemned the timing of the arrest, just over three weeks from the European and local government elections.

Gerry Adams
Jean McConville, a widowed mother-of-10, was abducted and murdered by the IRA in December 1972

Mrs McConville, one of Northern Ireland's Disappeared, was kidnapped in front of her children after being wrongly accused of being an informer.

Last month, Ivor Bell, 77, a leader in the Provisional IRA in the 1970s, was charged with aiding and abetting the murder.

There have also been a number of other arrests over the murder recently.

The case against Bell is based on an interview he allegedly gave to researchers at Boston College in the US.

The Boston College tapes are a series of candid, confessional interviews with former loyalist and republican paramilitaries, designed to be an oral history of the Troubles.

The paramilitaries were told the tapes would only be made public after their deaths.

However, after a series of court cases in the United States, some of the content has been handed over to the authorities.

Informer claim dismissed

The claim that Mrs McConville was an informer was dismissed after an official investigation by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman.

She was held at one or more houses before being shot and buried in secret.

Gerry Adams
Jean McConville's children interviewed after her disappearance in 1972

The Disappeared are those who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles.

The IRA admitted in 1999 that it murdered and buried at secret locations nine of the Disappeared.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains was established in 1999 by a treaty between the British and Irish governments.

It lists 16 people as "disappeared". Despite extensive searches, the remains of seven of them have not been found.

Source: bbc.co.uk

Share this story

Related Stories

News around the web

DR Congo: Kidnapped Britons released

Britons held in DR Congo freed

Student groups with a million members back call for second Brexit referendum

Brexit: UK government to host summit on why other countries should join the EU

Metropolitan Police's facial recognition technology 98% inaccurate, figures show

Missing Joe Tilley found dead in Colombia

Russian embassy in Paris requests info from France on knife attacker's nationality

Nearly half a million 'hidden' young people left without state help to survive and find work, ministers warned

Crystal meth found at Home Office headquarters as Sajid Javid boasts about sniffer dogs' prowess

Theresa May faces deadlock over Brexit customs rules, after senior politicians attack both proposed options

Image Slider