Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has again had to deny any part in the 1972 murder of IRA victim Jean McConville, six days before he bids to win a Dail seat in County Louth.
The family of the late McConville – abducted from her Belfast home then killed and secretly buried on a beach in Louth – have forced Adams into another embarrassing denial.
Relatives of the mother of 10 campaigned publicly against Adams and Sinn Finn in Louth on Saturday when their presence forced the Republican leader and former MP into another rejection of their claims.
Adams, currently fighting a real battle for the third seat in the Louth constituency, issued a statement after the McConvilles had appealed to voters in Dundalk to boycott the Sinn Fein candidate.
In the statement, Adams said: “I reject as forcefully as I can any suggestion that I played a part in the death of Jean McConville.
“I again express my deep regret at the injustice that was inflicted on the McConville family by Republicans.”
Adams, who has always denied being a member of the IRA, was accused of involvement in the McConville murder in an RTE interview by the IRA’s
Belfast commander, the late Brendan ‘Darkie’ Hughes.
McConville’s body was eventually found on a County Louth beach in 2003, 21 years after her disappearance from her home on the Divis Flats complex in Belfast.
The McConville family protested outside Sinn Fein’s Dundalk offices on Saturday and also visited the spot where her body was finally discovered.
McConville’s son-in-law Seamus McKendry said: “To impose as a candidate the political leader of the Provisional Movement, Gerry Adams, on the good people of Louth in the forthcoming election is the ultimate in insults.
“The murders, kidnapping, dumping of bodies, the seclusion of mortal remains, extortion and bank robberies by the Provisional Movement will be described as ‘justified’ by the perpetrators if their movement is given any level of support in the ballot box.
“The Provisional Movement used the beautiful countryside of County Louth as a dumping ground for the bodies of those they kidnapped, tortured and eventually murdered in the pretence of freeing Ireland.
“The bodies of some of their victims still remain hidden away - most likely in County Louth.”