Gerry Adams makes himself available to the PSNI for questioning…

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For the record, Gerry Adams released this somewhat uninhibited statement tonight:

“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. If the PSNI wish to talk to me on this matter I am available to meet them. I have asked my solicitor to contact them.

It is clear that the so-called Boston Oral History project is an entirely bogus, shoddy and self-serving effort by those involved. The idea for this project originated with Paul Bew, an advisor to David Trimble and was taken up by Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre who conducted the interviews. Both are vitriolic critics and opponents of the Sinn Féin peace strategy, of me in particular and of Sinn Féin and its leadership.

Some of the individuals interviewed have gone to great lengths to attack the republican struggle, the peace process and the political process through lies, distortions and personal attacks. The Boston History project is not a genuine oral history project.

The issue of the past needs to be dealt with and I and Sinn Féin are committed to this. We have argued for an independent, international, truth recovery process. However, if this cannot be agreed then we are seeking the implementation of the Haass compromise proposals.

These include the right of families to choose whether to pursue legal action or to seek maximum truth recovery.”

This follows much briefer remarks reported in the Irish News this morning.

Update: Here’s my interview with Fran McNulty on Morning Ireland (25:03:14)

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  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Nothing new then from a man who not only has a “comfort letter” but undoubtedly has a never to expire get out of jail free card.

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    Would seem to be worthwhile adding Ed Moloney’s response to Mary Lou McDonald’s recent similar criticism of the Boston College oral history project.

    On last night’s Late Late Show on RTE, Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Fein trotted out the hoary canard that the Boston College oral history archive had a political agenda when choosing who to interview or not interview for the project.

    Long before I left Ireland to live in America, Sinn Fein was employing the same tactic against myself, accusing me of political bias in my coverage of the peace process and in particular claiming that I was prejudiced against and even obsessed with Gerry Adams. It was clear to me then as now what the real purpose of this slur was.

    This is an old public relations trick designed to intimidate other members of the media by demonstrating what could happen to them if they followed my example and probed too deeply into the opaque depths of the Provisionals’ internal politics. Unfortunately such tactics all too often work and their result is always to the benefit of the initiators, in this case less scrutiny of their business.

    In relation to the Boston project, Mary Lou cites two interviewees to justify this accusation. One was Brendan Hughes, the other Dolours Price. Is she really saying that when it comes to compiling a history of the IRA and the Troubles, the woman who led the first IRA bombing team to London and the man who was Gerry Adams’ closest buddy and whose IRA career is the stuff of which legends are made should be excluded because they and Sinn Fein had fallen out?

    So who then, Mary Lou should be allowed to speak for the history books for Sinn Fein and the IRA? Only those who parrot the party line of who was or was not in the IRA? Really? What sort of history would that produce?

    No, the truth about the Boston project in this regard is disappointingly prosaic. The biggest problem we had was persuading anyone to be interviewed at all and we accepted what we could get in many instances. Inevitably some people will be more motivated than others for reasons to do with their experiences with the IRA but that is the nature of the beast and their stories are as valid as anyone’s.

    We also attempted to spread the interviews among different organisations so that this would not be a project dominated by Provisionals.

    Mary Lou makes her allegation in complete ignorance of the truth. She does not know who we interviewed. She only knows about two of them out of nearly thirty and from that small sample she draws huge and in this case erroneous conclusions.

  • Mick Fealty

    Very useful Pete. May be on a late slot on Morning Ireland tomorrow on the subject… Thanks…

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    I am open to correction but, as I recall, Moloney and McIntyre have previously said that those still on-board with Adams and Sinn Féin were discouraged from engaging with the Boston project.

  • Pete Baker

    As for Gerry’s inquiry of the police investigation,

    If/when they want to speak to you, Gerry, they’ll let you know.

    Unless your memory has suddenly improved…

  • Dixie Elliott

    The peace process is their stay out of jail card. You’ll not see and hear a shinner with his or her mouth open but the words peace process and anti-peace process are being spat out at the first sight of criticism.

    Anyway Gerry will probably regale the PSNI with his creme egg wet dreams and a faithful teddy bear who would never tell tales….

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/utterly-bizarre-tweets-by-gerry-adams

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    Gerry is far too valuable. Let’s not rock the boat, eh?

  • GEF

    “Gerry is far too valuable. Let’s not rock the boat, eh?”

    Exactly TCG, Gerry & other well known ex RA members who hold political positions in SF are safe as houses as long as they keep supporting the peace process. Most UUP & DUP politicians know this. Its all a media game the journalists are playing hoping Gerry (who is a past master of sitting tight) might crack or react just like he has done over this article:

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/news/gerry-adams-youre-next-jean-mcconvilles-daughter-tells-sinn-fein-president-hell-follow-ira-veteran-ivor-bell-to-dock-30118353.html

  • tomthumbuk

    I’m sure Ivan Bell must be kicking himself he didn’t ask the police if they were coming after him!

  • Politico68

    I wonder if ed Moloney is really a smart man who pretends to be stupid or a stupid man who pretends to be smart? I can’t quite figure him out. In any event, Mary Lou simply pointed out that Hughes and price are the two names that are constantly flown in the face of shinners as hammer holders over the cross. And out of all the 30 or so interviewees they were the very two that aggressively opposed the peace talks and had a vengeful interest in damaging Adams. Its not that difficult to figure out the probability of intent to deceive.

  • Mick Fealty

    That, as ed says, is meaningless, if you have no clue who the others are.

  • Politico68

    Well if nobody knows who they are and nobody knows what they have said, then it is perfectly reasonable to discount them from the equation. Which leaves us with just two; price and Hughes who are …….etc. Etc. See above

  • Mick Fealty

    Exactly. And your point is?

  • Gopher

    Found the title of this thread misleading it seems more like an attempt to manufacture a DIY comfort letter rather than actually assist police with their enquiries.

  • babyface finlayson

    Politico68
    Why choose to believe Gerry and doubt Hughes and Price.He has as much reason to undermine them as they had to undermine him.
    You are just choosing the version you prefer.

  • keano10

    Mary Lou McDonald’s interview on The Late Late Show was superb actually. She also made a quite overt pitch for the leadership of Sinn Fein when Adams finally departs.

    The hypocrisy on Slugger on this issue is palpable. McDonald correctly pointed out that both Price and Hughes were vehemently opposed to the Peace Process and in favour of the continuation of armed conflict.

    Slugger does’nt normally have a lot of time for violent dissidents, but it’s ok apparently, whenever they are blackening Gerry Adams (Slugger’s almost obsessive number one target)?

  • babyface finlayson

    ‘Back off or the peace process gets it!’

  • Mick Fealty

    keano, I guess if you see journalism as an undifferentiated extension political party interests then that might hold some water for you.

    In fact, as I’ve just told Morning Ireland, there were serious design faults with BC’s Belfast project not least the presumption that academic freedom has a sufficient protection under US to rebuff a criminal investigation from an overseas police force.

    All sides involved in the project have questions to answer in that regard.

    But Adams here is doing exactly what he said yesterday that others should not do. In yesterday’s Irish News, Adams is reported saying that the charges are a ‘matter for the courts’, and Attwood’s unusually adept follow up [linked above] “that is a change of position” from the Padraig Willson protests, and “everyone including the president of SF and his entire organisation must not play politics with the law.”

    What does he do? He comes out and plays politics with the law… You may very happy with this paternalist ‘do as I say not as I do…’ thing Mr A’s got going, but I have a few problems with it…

  • GEF

    “A former IRA prisoner has launched a withering attack on Gerry Adams after the Sinn Fein president derided the Boston College interviews with Troubles-era paramilitaries as “bogus, shoddy and self-serving”.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/gerry-adams-ill-talk-to-police-sinn-fein-chief-in-pledge-to-cooperate-over-jean-mcconville-case-30121830.html

  • cynic2

    Poor Gerry ….perhaps the SoS ran out of letterhead before it came to his turn

    But I am shocked that he now thinks he can help PSNI – after all he was never in the IRA so how could he know anything?

  • Mick Fealty
  • between the bridges

    No fan of Jarry’s, but a smart move all the same…

  • Pete Baker

    Anthony McIntyre has responded to Adams’ statement

    US federal judge William Young, who unlike Mr Adams has studied the contents of the Boston College archives, has stated in his judgement that it was ‘a bona fide academic exercise of considerable intellectual merit.’

    In contrast, Mr Adams’ disavowal of his central role in the direction of the IRA campaign is lacking in anything that would remotely resemble intellectual merit or honesty. His narrative has been both self-serving and bogus. Mr Adams would find it difficult to lie in bed straight he is so crooked.

    Mr Adams’ concern for the McConville family is equally as fraudulent, as demonstrated by the shoddy falsehood he foisted on family members with his claim to them that he was in prison at the time of the disappearance of Jean McConville.

    The truth that the family of Jean McConville deserve to have is a truth that would herald the end of Mr Adams’ political career. This is why he has done everything in his power to prevent it emerging.

    Mr Adams’ attempts to insinuate that his critics are somehow egregious or dishonest because they do not subscribe to his false narrative of a peace process which depicts him as a man of peace with no account of his role as a man of war, is his own distorted personal attack. It is consistent with his long evident dictatorial impulse to control the narrative and marginalise dissent from it.

  • Dec

    ‘I am open to correction but, as I recall, Moloney and McIntyre have previously said that those still on-board with Adams and Sinn Féin were discouraged from engaging with the Boston project.’

    Pretty sound advice, in retrospect. Shame those in their rush to stick the post-dated boot into Adams didn’t listen and instead took Mackers at his word when he told them he knew what he was doing.

  • Dec

    ‘US federal judge William Young, who unlike Mr Adams has studied the contents of the Boston College archives, has stated in his judgement that it was ‘a bona fide academic exercise of considerable intellectual merit.’

    Well it appears the PSNI, who have studied the contents of the Boston college archive, take a different view from Judge Young.

  • Mick Fealty

    Just heard on BBC Radio Four: “Science is a matter of persistence”.

    The problem is less to do with Mr Adams and more with the reluctance of the Northern Irish media to play a fuller role in making our politics publicly accountable over time.

    So yes within these liberal parameters, it might be looked upon as smart. Except that in reality it was about as smart as libelling Declan Gormley.

    In that case the party seemingly effortlessly shelled out about half of the earnings they had declared to the Electoral commission in fines and legal costs.

    It was a malign, wreckless and unnecessary intervention aimed, no doubt, at making life more difficult for his ‘enemies of the Peace Process™’.

    Of course Mr Adams ‘utterly bizarre’ world view (http://goo.gl/2YGW3H) is that everyone else should be accountable, except for himself.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Even if Adams was proved to have been involved in this horrendous murder to the satisfaction of a court, did his two years (ha!), would it change one iota of support from within his nationalist base?

    Cast your eyes over the stellar lineup of Sinn Fein elected representatives who’s pasts don’t cause thousands of people placing an x’ beside their names on a ballot paper a moments hesitation.

    Why would the reaction to a convicted Adams be any different?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Is there enough evidence and testimony from all sources for the McConville’s to seek a civil case?? Would this be Gerry worst nightmare???

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Moloney on radio.

  • Mick Fealty

    Dec,

    Well it appears the PSNI, who have studied the contents of the Boston college archive, take a different view from Judge Young.

    Bee-haaave…

    Deputy Adams – as you very well know – is fraudulently trying to scale up the political damage, which given the sensitivities involved is pretty nasty behaviour.

  • Reader

    Dec: Well it appears the PSNI, who have studied the contents of the Boston college archive, take a different view from Judge Young.
    How’s that? They may agree entirely with the judge so far as he went, but they have also noted that the archive has additional merits that Judge Young missed.
    They may yet thank and congratulate the researchers on a job well done.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Don’t mention the war, or his part therein.

  • Mick Fealty

    AU, erm, aren’t those pretty much in the off-topic/distraction category?

  • Dec

    Why doesn’t Anthony McIntyre go to the police and tell them everything (‘The truth that the family of Jean McConville deserve’) he knows?

  • Mick Fealty

    dec, bit random, no? Is it an admission then that your point re the PSNI was just smoke?

    McIntyre is the guy who said that BC should burn the records rather than surrender them to the courts, something that the College could and would not do.

    By the by: here’s Gerry co-operating, by walking out of the courtroom with prosecution evidence over the lunchtime: http://goo.gl/EJJkUh

  • Dec

    Mick

    My point regarding the PSNI was that they just didn’t regard the tapes as ‘an academic exercise’, so much as a confession(s) to murder. For McIntyre to protest the handing over of the tapes to the PSNI and then to start pontificating about justice, amid warnings that you’d be finished if this comes out” is a bit rich if he doesn’t follow up this up with telling the PSNI everything he knows about those tapes.

    Mcintyre’s also the guy who assured people like Ivor Bell that none of this would come out in their lifetime ie that he could spill the beans, or at least his version of it, with impunity – how’s that working out for Ivor now?

  • tacapall

    Ivor Bell spilled the beans on what and who ? I doubt very much if you have a shred of evidence to prove what you claim Dec.

  • Mick Fealty

    dec,

    “My point regarding the PSNI was that they just didn’t regard the tapes as ‘an academic exercise’, so much as a confession(s) to murder.”

    Honestly for a man who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, that’s pretty poor attempt. PSNI didn’t peer review the project.

  • Morpheus

    “My point regarding the PSNI was that they just didn’t regard the tapes as ‘an academic exercise’, so much as a confession(s) to murder. “

    Again, no legal expert so open to correction but from what I can make of this from the Crown Prosecution Service any confession has to be made under caution. I don’t think The Boston Tapes were made under caution

  • Niall Noigiallach

    I’m a sucker for the sayings, quotes and speeches. I love a good quote. One of my favourites was when Eric Cantona gave his “seagulls follow the trawler” speech. Quite apt here me thinks

  • Mick Fealty

    Correct Morpheus. There is a widespread misunderstanding of this issue. I’d be very careful about jumping to conclusions about the broader nature of the evidence base when we simply don’t know.

  • Morpheus

    I said this on another thread Mick – it’s the Downey case all over again and after everyone is finished milking it dry for political points and column inches it will be the McConvilles who are left devastated. After what they have been through in their lives they simply don’t deserve it.

  • NiallStanage

    Mick, Pete: Coming to this late but reverting back to Pete’s comment back at 11:18 pm on March 24, the most direct remarks I have seen on this came from Anthony McIntyre in a very good, long piece by the US Chronicle of Higher Education. The full piece is here (http://chronicle.com/article/Secrets-From-Belfast/144059?cid=megamenu) but the relevant paragraphs are as follows:

    ****
    Many of the people he interviewed had also fallen out with the organization and saw the power-sharing arrangement as the death of their cause, with Gerry Adams, president of the IRA’s political counterpart, Sinn Fein, as its architect. Mr. McIntyre did interview some who viewed the peace process in a more positive light, but he says if he had approached former leaders of the IRA or Sinn Fein, they would have tried to shut down the project.

    “I could not afford having people going back to Gerry Adams or the IRA and saying, ‘This is what he’s doing,’” Mr. McIntyre says. “That would have exposed us all to risk.”

    ****
    Just to emphasize that I am not quoting this in the service of making an argument one way or another; merely trying to add to the information available.

  • Politico68

    Mick my point is laid out at 4.45am.
    baby face, I have no choice but to believe Adams in the absence of evidence against him. That’s called due process.

  • Charles_Gould

    Thing is that Adams is now not considered an honest person.

  • Morpheus

    A dishonest politician? Surely not.

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks, Niall.

    That’s probably what I was mis-remembering.

  • babyface finlayson

    Politico68
    “baby face, I have no choice but to believe Adams in the absence of evidence against him. That’s called due process.”
    Well, yes if you were on the jury. But we’re just a bunch of guys chatting in the pub.
    You have two versions of events here, both presented by people who would like to discredit the other.
    Why cast doubt on one version and not the other?

  • Dec

    Tap

    No, I don’t have any evidence. I’m just making assumptions based on two facts: a)he recorded an interview for The Boston tapes and b) he’s now charged with aiding and abetting the murder of Jean McConville based on the contents of the Boston.

  • Politico68

    I cast doubt on anybody that makes a serious potentially life destroying claim against someone they have a grudge against, until hard evidence proves them correct. I think that’s fair, even if I an in a pub. Wish I was right now actually

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    “Again, no legal expert so open to correction but from what I can make of this from the Crown Prosecution Service any confession has to be made under caution. I don’t think The Boston Tapes were made under caution.”

    @Morpheus,

    In America suspects have to receive a Miranda warning (caution) from the police before questioning but two exceptions are a deathbed confession and a “spontaneous utterance,” which is when the suspect blurts out a confession before the police have a chance to caution him. Also admissable is a tape made that police come across but wasn’t done on behalf of the police i.e. the police didn’t tell someone to make an illegal recording. I believe that usually the standards are quite similar in anglo-saxon countries because they all started with a basis in English common law and supreme court justices take account of each other’s rulings.

  • Morpheus

    I have been on several UK sites and they all say the same thing – it must be under caution

  • babyface finlayson

    Morpheus
    If tacapall is correct and the ‘confession’ only amounted to an admission of IRA membership that would suggest there must be other evidence.
    The police and prosecution must surely have been aware of the admissibility of the tapes as evidence?

  • Morpheus

    I am positive of that BF, there simply has to be more than these Boston Tapes. For a start Bell had denied having any involvement in it so they must have something else to justify charging him.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    @Morpheus,

    What is the maximum sentence for membership in a proscribed organization? If it is two years, that is the same amount that he would get for political murder under the GFA.

  • Mick Fealty

    Morph,

    It’s pretty simple. The US examined the material in the archive and only released those materials relevant to the McConville case.

    Really, until this thing gets to court (rather if it gets to court), we have no clue what the prosecution case is made of.

    It’s idle (and potentially dangerous) to speculate.

  • Morpheus

    Amen to that Mick