Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Jean McConville's family heartened as '45% of Irish voters believe Gerry Adams had role in murder'

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams

The family of Disappeared mother-of-10 Jean McConville have said they are "heartened" to learn that half of voters in the Republic believe Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was involved in her murder.

Seamus McKendry, the husband of Jean's eldest daughter Helen, said: "It is heart-warming to hear that half the people in Ireland believe Adams was involved in Jean's murder.

"We have so often felt we were on our own. We are heartened by it. We have often felt isolated and alone over the last decades."

Mr McKendry, who was responding to poll findings in the Irish Independent, also revealed that he and Helen last week met lawyers who intend taking a civil case against Mr Adams.

He said: "No action can be taken pending the decision of the Prosecution Service following Adams' arrest by the PSNI but the preparation can go on."

Mr McKendry also criticised the fact that within two days of being released after questioning about the December 1972 murder and disappearance of the widowed mother, Mr Adams was on RTE radio criticising the Garda over a whistleblower controversy.

He said: "Does no one remember that he was the head of an organisation that murdered gardai as well as innocent people in Northern Ireland?" he claimed.

"It's difficult for us when we see him being treated as if he was an ordinary politician and only ever some kind of republican sympathiser.

"The British Government brought him to two top meetings in 1972, in London and then in Donegal. He was let out of Long Kesh and flown to London to meet senior British ministers.

"He was there with Seamus Towmey, Daithi O Conaill and Martin McGuinness. He wasn't there as some kind of Sinn Fein representative or IRA sympathiser. He was there as an IRA general.

"And yet there he is just released from questioning and he is on radio talking about the gardai. He was the head of an organisation that killed enough of them in its time.

"That's why we often feel isolated over this. He is given so much time in the media to comment on anything. That's why we were genuinely heartened when we heard about the poll. It's good to know that so many decent people do believe us and don't believe him."

Mrs Adams has denied any role in the murder of Mrs McConville and denied that he was ever in the IRA.

Factfile

An Irish Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll asked: "Do you believe Gerry Adams was any way involved in the murder of Jean McConville or not?" Forty-five per cent said that they did believe so, 23% said they did not and 32% answered "don't know". Some 48% of 25-34-year-olds believe he was involved.

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