Belfast Telegraph

My arrest has galvanised Sinn Fein campaign, says Gerry Adams

By Michael McHugh

Gerry Adams has claimed that his arrest galvanised his party's European election campaign.

The Sinn Fein president was released from Antrim police station just over a week ago after four days of questioning.

He was interrogated by detectives about the 1972 murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville and other alleged links with the IRA. The former West Belfast MP vehemently rejects allegations made by former republican colleagues that he ordered her abduction and death.

"It has galvanised the Sinn Fein party and the broader republican family," he said at an election manifesto launch in Belfast.

"Now they are very focused, there is an alertness that the process here cannot be taken for granted and people are looking to the work that Martin (McGuinness) and our other representatives have done around raising peace process issues."

Mrs McConville, a 37-year-old widow, was dragged, screaming, away from her children in the Divis flats in west Belfast by a gang of up to 12 men and women after being wrongly accused of informing to the security forces.

She was interrogated, shot in the back of the head and then secretly buried – becoming one of the 'Disappeared' victims of the Troubles.

Her body was not found until 2003 on a beach in Co Louth, 50 miles from her home.

Mr Adams' arrest prompted deputy First Minister Mr McGuinness to claim that a "dark side" of the PSNI was behind his detention, an allegation which Chief Constable Matt Baggott denied.

Mr Adams said: "The worst thing is the signal that it was sending out to citizenry that have vested and invested their hopes in the future."

The veteran republican has been canvassing in Cork in the days since his release.

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