Adams could face new McConville probe

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams has instructed his solicitor to contact the PSNI after claims he will be questioned over the murder of Jean McConville.

The Sinn Fein president has vehemently denied being involved in the abduction and murder of the Belfast mother-of-10 by the IRA in 1972.

“If the PSNI wish to talk to me on this matter I am available to meet them,” he said.

The Louth TD described the killing as “a terrible injustice”.

The move comes after a veteran republican, 77-year-old Ivor Bell, was charged last week in connection with the McConville murder.

As Bell, from Ramoan Gardens in west Belfast, was remanded in custody charged with aiding and abetting the murder on Saturday, Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard police moved against him on the basis of an interview he allegedly gave to researchers from a college in Boston, Massachusetts – tapes a US court last year ordered to be handed over to the PSNI.

Other republicans interviewed for the Boston College Troubles archive project have alleged Mr Adams had a role in ordering Mrs McConville’s death.

The Sinn Fein leader attacked the Boston College project, saying “some of the individuals interviewed have gone to great lengths to attack the republican struggle”.

Researchers from Boston College interviewed a number of former paramilitaries about the Troubles on the understanding transcripts would not be published until after their deaths – but that undertaking was rendered ineffective when the US court ordered that tapes touching on Mrs McConville’s death be given to PSNI detectives.

In a statement released yesterday in response to what he called “media speculation”, Mr Adams said: “I can understand the McConville family’s anger and hurt given what they have been through and given what some anti-peace process former republican activists have been alleging.

“However, let me repeat. What happened to Jean McConville was a terrible injustice. I was not involved in any part of it.”

Mrs McConville became one of the so-called Disappeared, and it was not until August 2003 that her remains were eventually found on Shelling Hill beach, Co Louth.

Nobody has ever been charged with her murder.

When asked whether police wanted to talk to Mr Adams, a PSNI spokesman said: “It would be inappropriate to discuss the detail of an ongoing investigation.”