Belfast Telegraph

Jean Mcconville's son-in-law: Gerry Adams will never admit to IRA past

The son-in-law of murdered Jean McConville has branded Gerry Adams a "poacher-turned gamekeeper" who has never admitted his role in the Troubles.

Seamus McKendry also said he believed the outgoing Sinn Fein leader had "ample opportunity" to encourage the IRA to move away from violence many years before it did.

Mr Adams' legacy is coming under intense scrutiny as he prepares to step down as Sinn Fein president after more than three decades.

Dublin TD Mary Lou McDonald will replace him as leader on Saturday, taking over a party that still hasn't distanced itself from atrocities carried out by the Provisional IRA.

Belfast mother-of-10 Mrs McConville was kidnapped and murdered by the IRA in 1972.

She had been accused of passing information to the Army, was shot in the back of the head, and 'disappeared'. Her remains were eventually found on a Co Louth beach in 2003.

Mr Adams was arrested as part of a PSNI investigation into the killing in 2014.

Senior Sinn Fein figures, including Ms McDonald, alleged the arrest was an example of political policing.

Mr Adams was released and faces no charges.

He has always denied any involvement in Mrs McConville's murder and being a member of the IRA.

Mr McKendry said he didn't think Mr Adams will ever admit to being in the terror group.

He said that Mr Adams should get some credit for his role in the peace process, but "he must account for the destruction that was created in the first place".

Mr McKendry said his assessment of Mr Adams was that he is a "poacher-turned gamekeeper - not willing to stand up for his past actions".

The first part of veteran broadcaster Vincent Browne's documentary, Gerry Adams: War, Peace & Politics, was broadcast last night on TV3.

Mr Browne has said that his view of Adams was that he was "very much involved in the IRA campaign of atrocity, murder, and criminality" but that "without him, the atrocities almost certainly would have happened anyway".

He has also said that without Mr Adams "peace wouldn't have happened when it did".

Mr McKendry said this was "clever wordage" but added: "I don't know how accurate it is."

He said the option of a ceasefire was always open to the Provisional IRA and Mr Adams had "ample opportunity to pull them away from violence many years beforehand".

Separately, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was asked how he believes history will judge Mr Adams, but said he'd leave that "to the historians".

He said that, on a personal level, he wished the Sinn Fein president the "very best in retirement".

Belfast Telegraph

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