Adams not murder suspect, says McDonald

Kenny says SF leader should answer PSNI’s questions

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald: “We are very, very unhappy at the timing of this, the choice of time, and we believe that it is politically motivated.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald: “We are very, very unhappy at the timing of this, the choice of time, and we believe that it is politically motivated.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Fri, May 2, 2014, 01:01

FIACH KELLY

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has insisted Gerry Adams is

not a suspect in the PSNI investigation into the murder of Jean McConville and she repeated her claim that his arrest was politically motivated.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Mr Adams should answer the PSNI’s questions and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the PSNI’s independence should be respected. Fianna Fáil, meanwhile, said Ms McDonald should withdraw her claims about the PSNI.

Ms McDonald said anyone questioned in a case of such gravity would be interviewed under caution. “You’re entirely wrong to say any member of Sinn Féin – much less its leader Gerry Adams – is a suspect in a murder case. That’s a misrepresentation of what’s happened,” she said.

“We are very, very unhappy at the timing of this, the choice of time, and we believe that it is politically motivated.

‘Damage’
“I think there would be a hope amongst some that it would damage our election campaign but I can say that we continue with our campaign and I believe and I hope that we will have a strong result North and South.”

Asked whether Sinn Féin would take any action in response to the PSNI, she said she could not answer that.

“As things stand Gerry is still with the PSNI and I can’t with any exactness tell you precisely how all of this will pan out.”

‘Standing down’
There was no question of Mr Adams standing down, she said. “There is no need for that.

“What we need to establish now is at what stage Gerry will in fact end this conversation with the PSNI. I can’t tell you when that will be.”

Mr Kenny “noted” Ms McDonald’s remarks, saying the most crucial point was that the investigation was live.

“The most important fact is that Jean McConville was murdered, a widowed mother of 10 children and her body wasn’t found for very many years,” Mr Kenny said.