Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams has defended his relationship with the IRA and stated that republicans "improved the quality of life for people" in Ireland.

Writing on his "Leargas" blogspot, Adams acknowledged that the IRA made many mistakes, but he defended their right to resistance during the Troubles.

 "It (IRA) was not a perfect organization and it made many mistakes. Its business was war and in the madness that is war the IRA did many things which deeply hurt people."

Adams strenuously denies any involvement in the murder and disappearance of Jackie McConville and criticized author Ed Moloney for promoting it in his book "Voices From The Grave".

"A grievous wrong has been done to these families. Republicans are trying to right this wrong," said Adams.

Adams was accused by former IRA commander Brendan Hughes of being the IRA commander in the 1970s who ordered the death of Jackie McConville.

"Some of the allegations made against me are very serious indeed and, bizarrely, by an accuser who is not here to stand over his claims. I feel sorry for him."

Hughes, who died in 2008, gave interviews to Boston University under instruction that the information not be divulged until after his death.

Adams has called for the introduction of a "truth recovery process" in which loyalists and republicans can give a genuine account of their actions during the troubles.
“As I have said before on other occasions there are many people who would be prepared to give an account of their actions during the war and who would have the courage to do this while they are still alive.

“A process to do this is needed.

"It is a matter of public record that I personally would be prepared to give evidence and to encourage others to give evidence to such a genuine truth recovery process.”

It is still widely believed amongst the British and Irish authorities that Adams was a senior member of the IRA.