Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Gerry Adams quizzed over Jean McConville murder: Sinn Fein president interviewed by police

Gerry Adams quizzed over Jean McConville murder
Gerry Adams quizzed over Jean McConville murder
Antrim police station on Wednesday evening where Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was being questioned by police investigating the 1972 murder of west Belfast woman Jean McConville. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Police are still investigating the IRA murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville, pictured here with some of her children, in 1972

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has been quizzed by police in connection with the murder of Jean McConville.

Jean McConville - one of the Disappeared - was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972.

Adams (65) has always denied any involvement in the killing of Mrs McConville.

In a statement tonight, Mr Adams said:

"Last month I said that I was available to meet the PSNI about the Jean McConville case. While I have concerns about the timing, I am voluntarily meeting with the PSNI this evening."

Adams once again denied what he said were "malicious allegations".

"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," he said.

"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."

Jean McConville was seized by the IRA from her Divis Flats home in west Belfast, shot dead and secretly buried. Her body was found in 2003 on a Co Louth beach.

After decades without significant developments in the criminal investigation, there have now been several arrests in connection with the killing.

In March, republican - 77-year-old Ivor Bell - was charged in connection with the killing.

Ivor Bell - from Ramoan Gardens in west Belfast - faces counts of aiding and abetting the murder and of IRA membership. His lawyer has said he will contest the charges.

Mrs McConville was shot in the back of the head and buried just 50 miles from her home.

The IRA did not admit her murder until 1999.

She became one of the so-called Disappeared, and it was not until August 2003 that her remains were found.

Responding tonight, Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the PSNI timing of Mr Adams's interview in connection with the killing was "politically motivated".

Ms McDonald said there had been a "concerted and malicious effort to link Gerry Adams to this case for some considerable time".

Last month Gerry Adams said he would be willing to speak to the PSNI about the disappearance and murder of Ms McConville.

Adams - former MP for West Belfast and now a representative for Co Louth in the Irish Dail - presented himself at Antrim police station by prior arrangement with police.

BACKGROUND

Widowed mother-of-10 Jean McConville was abducted, interrogated and murdered by the IRA in 1972. She was falsely accused of passing information to the security forces from her west Belfast flat. Mrs McConville's remains were buried secretly on a beach in Co Louth. She was not found for 30 years until a member of the public discovered her remains in 2003.

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