Adams speaks to PSNI about Jean McConville case

Sinn Féin leader releases statement saying he is ‘voluntarily’ meeting police over 1972 case

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams last month said he was available to meet the PSNI about the case. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams last month said he was available to meet the PSNI about the case. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Gerry Adams is meeting the PSNI this evening about the Disappeared case of Jean McConville.

The Sinn Féin president last month said he was available to meet the PSNI about the case.

Sinn Féin released a statement tonight quoting Mr Adams as saying: “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.”

In 1972, Mrs McConville, a widow, was dragged away from her children in her home in the Divis flats, west Belfast, by an IRA gang of up to 12 men and women after being accused of passing information to the British army in the city.

An investigation later carried out by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman rejected the claims that she was an informer.

She was shot in the back of the head and buried 80kms from her home. The IRA did not admit her murder until 1999 when information was passed to gardaí.

One of the so-called Disappeared, her remains were found on Shelling Hill beach, Co Louth in August 2003.