Gerry Adams: No Charges For Adams

Published: October 1, 2015

Gerry Adams: No Charges For Adams, Irish republican leader Gerry Adams will not be charged in connection with the IRA murder of a Belfast mother of 10 in 1972, Northern Ireland’s state prosecutors have announced.

Following a police investigation, the Public Prosecution Service said the evidence against seven people, including the Sinn Fein president, was not strong enough to justify charges.

Mr Adams, who played a key role in the Northern Irish peace process, was arrested and taken in for questioning last year over the murder of widowed Jean McConville.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) paramilitary group wrongly accused Ms McConville of being a British army informer, but did not admit to her murder until 1999. Her remains were found in 2003 on a beach. She had been shot in the head.

Sinn Fein was the political wing of the IRA, which disarmed in 2005. Mr Adams, 66, has always denied being an IRA member or having any knowledge of her death.

“There was never any real basis for questioning me in respect of this case,” he said.

“I played no act or part in Jean McConville’s death.”

Pamela Atchison, the deputy director of public prosecutions, said the evidence reviewed was “insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction against any of them for a criminal offence”.

Mr Adams is a serving member of the Republic of Ireland’s parliament.

The McConville case was reopened in 2013 when Northern Irish detectives obtained tapes of former IRA members speaking about the execution.

Former paramilitaries talked to researchers at Boston College in the United States who were compiling an oral archive on the Troubles, Northern Ireland’s 30 years of sectarian strife which largely ended with peace accords in 1998.

A US court ordered the tapes should be handed over to Northern Irish police, despite promises by the researchers they would not be released until after the former militants’ deaths.

One man, Ivor Bell, was arrested and charged in March, 2014, and is currently before the courts charged with soliciting Ms McConville’s murder.

Ms McConville’s son, Michael, said the family was gutted by the decision not to charge Mr Adams.

“We will continue to seek justice for our mother and see those responsible held to account no matter how long it takes,” he said.


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