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Dublin: 3°C Wednesday 1 December 2021

Gerry Adams arrested by police over Jean McConville murder

Sinn Féin says the arrest over the abduction and murder of the 37-year-old widow was “politically motivated”.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Updated 10.08pm

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has been arrested by police investigating the abduction and murder of Jean McConville.

The PSNI confirmed that a 65-year-old man had been arrested this evening in connection with the case.

In a statement, Adams described it as a “voluntary meeting” following his public comments last month that he was available to meet with the PSNI over the case.

“While I have concerns about the timing, I am voluntarily meeting with the PSNI this evening,” he said.

Sinn Féin refused to say that Adams had been arrested, repeatedly describing it as a “meeting”.

Adams has repeatedly denied any involvement in the disappearance and murder of the mother of ten.

Jean McConville was 37 when she was abducted from her flat in west Belfast and shot by the IRA in December 1972. Her body was discovered on a beach in Louth in 2003.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald  said the timing of the arrest was politically motivated and designed to damage the party ahead of the upcoming local and European elections.

In his statement, Adams described the killing of Jean McConville and the burial of her body as “wrong and a grevious injustice to her and her family”.

Gerry Adams’s statement in full:

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.

Originally published 8.49pm

Read: Boston College testimony used to bring veteran republican to court over Jean McConville > 

Read: Adams: Legacy issues best dealt with through “truth recovery process” >

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