Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has told IrishCentral that most of his interrogation had nothing to do with the Jean McConville case and that the interrogators were searching for evidence that he was in the IRA. Adams was released from PSNI custody on Sunday.
He also said Irish American support for a successful resolution of the current difficulties was needed now more than ever.
He spoke to IrishCentral on Monday, saying the response he had received since his release was “overwhelming.”
He said the entire arrest incident showed how fragile the peace was and he appealed to Irish Americans to become involved once again. “We need that intensity to make this process work,” he said.
He recalled a recent conversation with former Mutual of America Chairman Bill Flynn, who talked about rekindling the intensity of the ceasefire period once again. “That is exactly what we need. This incident proves it is still a very dangerous time.”
As for his arrest and detention, Adams says it was all political.
“People know well what this was about,” he said. “It was politically motivated.”
He pointed out that British Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers has now admitted that she had known beforehand that he was going to be arrested.
He also stated that it was part of a concerted effort against Sinn Fein and that other leadership figures had been targeted in recent months.
He said the PSNI detectives who examined him were seeking any and all information.
They started “as far back as when I was eighteen months old,” he stated, and then tried to link him to membership of the IRA through articles he wrote, his books and other materials. He said he knew they would seek to draw inferences of guilt for a judge if he remained silent so he spoke his answers.
He also the believes his arrest was based in large part on Sinn Fein’s willingness to sign up to the Haass Principles on how to deal with issues relating to past atrocities.
He stated that he believed there are forces in the British security establishment who want no part of the Haass Principles – the name comes from the former Northern Ireland Special Envoy Richard Haass – because of what they could bring to light.
In addition to calling for a new regulatory body on parades, the Haass commision wanted the power to investigate major atrocities taken away from the PSNI and given to an independent, empowered body.
Adams said that two months ago he had gotten in touch with the PSNI concerning the McConville case because of the continued media coverage and allegations thrown at him.
He said the PSNI had waited until it was close to the European elections and local election in the Irish Republic to call him in.
He made clear that the custodial staff at the detention center in Antrim treated him with respect and he had no complaints.
On a lighter note he said the only complaint he had was that he heard someone had drawn a red nose on the new mural in West Belfast which features a painting of him. “I was bad enough as it was,” he said.