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Adams: I have never shirked my responsibility on issue of 'The Disappeared'

Adams pointed out that nine bodies have been recovered and the sites of four of the six remaining bodies have been identified as a result of work that he was involved in.

Image: Kenneth O'Halloran/PA

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has asserted today that he has never ‘shirked’ his responsibility when it comes to the issue of ‘The Disappeared’ and helping families of victims of the IRA to find answers.

In a blog post published today, Adams said a recent suggestion by Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith that “legitimate questions are not answered by Gerry Adams and others” on the issue of those secretly buried by the IRA, is not true.

Adams was also responding to criticism leveled at him following a documentary on The Disappeared this week. Just today, Justice Minister Alan Shatter said he finds Adams’ approach to the issue “difficult to accept”.

In the blog post today, Adams said:

As a republican leader I have never shirked my responsibility on this issue. It was following representations by me that the IRA established a special unit in the autumn of 1997 to ascertain the whereabouts of the graves of a number of people executed and buried by it in the 1970’s. I have met the families of those affected by this. I have worked with the Commission and I will continue to do so.

As a result of the work of the last 12 years, Adams pointed out that nine bodies have been recovered and the sites of four of the six remaining bodies have been identified.

“The failure thus far to find the remaining bodies is not due to any lack of resolve or cooperation by me or other republicans,” he said.

Ranting about me is easy for those who rely on gossip, smear, their own imagination and the accusations of political enemies, but it will not help the families. Nor will resolving this injustice and recovering the bodies be assisted by political point scoring, felon setting or snide ill-informed newspaper articles.

The Sinn Féin leader added that despite the “personal attacks” on him, the party will not be deflected from “campaigning for a truth and reconciliation process that can bring closure” for families.

Related: “I find the approach of Gerry Adams difficult to accept” – Alan Shatter>

More: Families of ‘The Disappeared’ tell their stories as Adams repeats McConville denial>

Column: “If it was any other country, it would be investigated like a war crime,” – Jean McConville’s daughter>

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