Irish republican and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams was arrested and interrogated on Wednesday for being a suspect in the killing of Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10, in 1972. Adams confirmed his arrest and called it voluntary and pre-arranged.
The murder happened during a turbulent time for Ireland, when the IRA (Irish Republican Army) was killing people almost daily.
McConville was accused of being a British spy by the IRA, so they killed her and told her children that their mother had abandoned them. McConville’s body was then secretly buried, and the IRA only admitted to the crime in 1998. McConville’s shattered skeletal remains were found near a shoreline in 2003.
When Adams was taken in, he was interrogated about IRA activities, such as shootings that happened in the 70s and 80s, bombings, and the car-bomb offensive in Belfast. Adams insisted that he has never had a position in the underground army, and said that he has only been convicted for a single IRA offense, which was a failed escape when he was imprisoned without going to trial.
Before he entered the Belfast police station, Adams gave television interviews saying “Well publicized, malicious allegations have been made against me. I reject these.” He also said that he will never disassociate himself from the IRA but he is “innocent of any part in the abduction, killing, or burial of Mrs. McConville.”
According to Ed Moloney, one of Ireland’s leading reporters, it is unlikely that the authorities will charge him unless he confesses to committing the crime.
The authorities who are in charge of McConville’s case have been arresting suspects based on taped interviews. These tapes, obtained from Boston College, consist of interrogations of IRA veterans. The only condition the IRA veterans had was that the tapes only be revealed when they are dead.
In one of the tapes, Adams’ confidante Brendan Hughes, admitted that the one who ordered the killing of McConville was “the head of Sinn Féin.” Hughes died in 2008.
Gerry Adams Interview
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