60 Minutes

WATCH: Gerry Adams is asked if he has 'blood on his hands' in major US interview

“Well, it depends…”

adams60minutes Gerry Adams interviewed on primetime US TV show 60 Minutes. CBS News CBS News

Updated 2.50pm

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams had difficulty answering questions about his past in a primetime American television interview last night.

During his hotly-anticipated appearance on the CBS network’s ’60 Minutes’, Adams struggled to tell presenter Scott Pelley whether he had “blood on his hands” after many years at the helm of the republican movement.

(Section starts at 1.29)

CBS News 24 / YouTube

Pelley: So you were at the top of republicanism nearly throughout The Troubles, and your hands are clean?
Adams: Well it depends – that’s an evocative term, ‘Your hands are clean.’

Pelley: No blood on your hands, is what we mean.

Adams: Well, we all have our responsibility. All of us.

Pelley accused the Sinn Féin leader of “dodging into fog” with such answers.

The interview had already caused controversy, when a preview last week included Adams’ comment that incidents such as the murder of Jean McConville are “what happens in war”.

In response, McConville’s son Michael on Saturday released a scathing statement:

The murder of our mother did not just happen. It was ordered and planned. No one should ever forget that or be allowed to pretend otherwise.

And speaking on Morning Ireland this morning, McConville called Adams a “hypocrite”.

“If this happened to an IRA family and 10 children were left orphaned… Would he say the same thing?”

Britain Northen Ireland Adams Arrested Helen McKendry, one of Jean McConville's 10 children. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The segment on ’60 Minutes’ – America’s most-watched news progamme – also featured interviews with McConville’s daughter Helen McKendry.

She unleashed an attack on Adams, claiming “He likes to think he’s God. He’s not.”

It also contained audio recordings from the Boston College project, of Brendan Hughes – a former prison mate of Adams – allegedly tying him to the 1972 murder of McConville, a charge Adams has firmly and consistently denied.

The primetime TV interview comes just weeks after a highly critical article in the New Yorker magazine, “Where the Bodies Are Buried“, which similarly focused on Adams’ alleged role in the disappearance of McConville.

Up until now, Adams has long enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive reputation in the United States, making frequent trips there for political, cultural and fundraising purposes since President Bill Clinton personally intervened to grant him a visa to the US in 1994.

You can read the full transcript of last night’s segment here, and watch it in full here.

Read: Gerry Adams tells US television: ‘I never pulled a trigger, ordered a murder or set off a bomb’>

Read: The murder of our mother did not “just happen” – Jean McConville’s son>

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