An audio tape of the deceased IRA commander, Brendan Hughes accusing Gerry Adams' of being an IRA chief and leader will be be aired on Irish television this week.

The recording will be part of a TV documentary “Voices from the Grave” in which Hughes alleges that Adams was the leader of the squad that murdered disappeared mother-of-10 Jean McConville.

Details of the claims have been printed before however the audio tapes will be played for the first time on the programme which is due to be broadcast in Ireland tonight.

Adams has always strongly denied allegations of being a member of the IRA and of having any knowledge of Mrs McConville's disappearance.

During the audio recording Hughes states that Adams was responsible for the squad called The Unknowns which kidnapped Jean McConville in 1972 and executed her for being an informer.

Hughes implies during the recording that Mrs McConville had a transmitter in her flat which was given to her by the British.

“We took her away and interrogated her and she told us what she was doing. She said she was getting paid by the British to pass on information. Because she was a woman we let her go with a warning. A few weeks later another transmitter was put into her house and she was still co-operating with the British.

“A special squad was brought into the operation then called The Unknowns. If you wanted anyone to be taken away they normally done it. I had no control over this squad. Gerry (Adams) had control over this squad.”

In the tapes Hughes spoke about how he and Adams organized daily IRA activities before their joint arrest in 1973.

He said: “In 1973 Gerry was OC (Officer Commanding) of the Belfast Brigade and I was Operations Officer. We met every day to plan what operations were going to take place in the next step in the war. That’s what we were doing the day we were arrested. They beat me with a small hammer.

“I was punched, kicked and interrogated. Adams passed out three times and they revived him with buckets of water.”

He also says how the Sinn Fein leader saved his life in the early 1970s when Hughes was chased down and shot by British army gunmen when he said: “I didn’t realise how much blood I had lost. Gerry went and organised a doctor. He sowed me up”.