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Sinn Fein say timing of questioning of Gerry Adams over Jean McConville murder is suspicious after surge in polls. Photo by: Photocall

Police arrest, question Gerry Adams on McConville killing

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Sinn Fein say timing of questioning of Gerry Adams over Jean McConville murder is suspicious after surge in polls. Photo by: Photocall

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have asked Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams in for questioning on the Jean McConville murder, that occurred in 1972.

McConville was killed by the IRA after claims she was a British informer. She left behind ten children.

Senior figures in the dissident Republican community have tried to link Adams to the killing.

The most recent developments involved the oral history project at Boston College where after a battle that reached to the US Supreme Court, US authorities handed tapes over to the PSNI, which allegedly claimed Adams took part.

Sinn Fein sources said the request to question Adams was suspicious in its timing given recent opinion polls showing Sinn Fein doing very well in upcoming European and local elections in the Irish Republic.

Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald stated: “I believe the timing of this latest decision by the PSNI is politically motivated and designed to damage Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein.”

In a statement released on Wednesday night Adams made clear that he was voluntarily meeting with the PSNI.

Gerry Adams said: “Last month I said that I was available to meet the PSNI about the Jean McConville case. While I have concerns about the timing, I am voluntarily meeting with the PSNI this evening.

“As a republican leader I have never shirked my responsibility to build the peace. This includes dealing with the difficult issue of victims and their families. Insofar as it is possible I have worked to bring closure to victims and their families who have contacted me. Even though they may not agree, this includes the family of Jean McConville.

“I believe that the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice to her and her family.

“Well publicised, malicious allegations have been made against me. I reject these.

“While I have never disassociated myself from the IRA and I never will, I am innocent of any part in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs. McConville.

“Sinn Féin has signed up to the Haass proposals for dealing with the past. While I also respect the right of families if they wish to seek legal redress there remains a huge onus on the two governments and the political parties to face up to all these issues and to agree a victim centred process which does this."

McConville was taken from her flat and murdered by the IRA in December 1972. She became known as one of 'The Disappeared'  whose bodies weren’t recovered for years afterwards. Some bodies still haven’t been recovered, although McConville’s remains were found on a beach in Co. Louth in August 2003.

The IRA claimed she was an informer, although that was later dismissed after an investigation by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman.

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