Breaking: Gerry Adams arrested at ‘meeting’ with the PSNI….

So, It seems Gerry Adams has been arrested. Arrested mind, not charged. It’s in the historic McConville case, for which there have already been a spate of arrests. Mr Adams took the precaution of letting people know he had agreed to be interviewed, but it seems that when he met the PSNI they decided to arrest him.

Here’s his statement from earlier…

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Sounds like the work of anti-peace securocrats Mick. Either that or the work of anti-anti police trying to foil SF’s electoral mandate.

    Certainly anti-peace. Not sure of the reason yet…. Awaiting enlightenment from wee marty et al

  • Comrade Stalin

    The most likely outcome here is that Adams will be released unconditionally.

    If he isn’t, and is charged, things are going to get very complicated very quickly. Sinn Féin are on the cusp of a major election breakthrough in the RoI and they won’t be able to do that if their leader is in jail – they will have to appoint a new leader. In Northern Ireland, SF will be in the position of endorsing a police force and criminal justice system which is arresting its own leadership.

    I think all of that is very unlikely, Adams will be released and will make the usual complaint about anti-peace process securocrats trying to derail the process.

  • Pete Baker


    Your quote is awry.

    Meanwhile, Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald has stated

    “I believe the timing of this latest decision by the PSNI is politically motivated and designed to damage Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin.

    In which case her party will be withdrawing their support from the “politically motivated” PSNI and stepping down from an clearly ineffectual Northern Ireland Policing Board, etc, etc…


  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    SF youth on twitter saying he went in voluntarily? Then why are they complaining?

  • Charles_Gould

    The important thing is that Jean McConville’s family and children get justice for her appalling murder.

  • Morpheus

    “”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.””

  • Dixie Elliott

    Knowing the shinners they’ll turn it into a ‘Patrick Pearse surrenders to Brig General Lowe’ moment in history.

  • If Adams is charged and I was a paratrooper who was in Derry on Bloody Sunday, I would be making arrangements to travel to a foreign place without an extradition treaty with the UK.

  • Comrade Stalin


    There is a police investigation into Bloody Sunday in progress and soldiers could well be arrested and prosecuted, as things currently stand.

  • notimetoshine

    I couldn’t believe it, I mean I personally think there are questions to be asked, but I would have always thought that political sensitivities being what they are they wouldn’t have gone near Adams.

    I assume that this wasn’t ‘on a whim’ because to arrest Adams in this political climate they must be able to justify this reasonably.

  • megatron

    I would imagine the chances of a successful prosecution of GA in this instances are pretty poor. Arrested plus released without charge seems by far the most likely outcome.

  • megatron

    Remains to be seen if it has any political impact but I wouldn’t be too worried if I was a SF candidate.

  • GoldenFleece

    This will give Sinn Fein a chance to “retire” Gerry. Its a badly kept secret that the higher echelons of SF want Gerry gone, including Marty. The bearded one has become a liability of late.

  • Granni Trixie

    Fingers crossed.

  • GoldenFleece,
    I have believed for years that Marty is the “real” leader of SF and that Adams is simply a figurehead.

  • Pete Baker


  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    he’ll be released. Cameron is probably on the blower as we speak.

  • keano10

    Gerry will be released in the morning chaps…


  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    One interesting thing to note in the shinners on twitter were going mad early doors and contradicting eachother but seem to have shut up now. I guess party discipline is hard to maintain with modern tech and social media. In the past it would have been radio silence for 24 hours and then everyone off the same hymn-sheet.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Very surprising that there would be an arrest when Adams arrived as a voluntary attender. So it’s not like the needed to arrest him for questioning. I think the PSNI would need to have alot of evidence before they’d arrest him.

  • Decspur

    They would need to arrest him to speak to him under caution, its common practice.

  • Comrade Stalin

    SF are like a hive mind and are directionless and uncontrolled until they get their orders from HQ.

  • Mick Fealty

    Read my second sentence chaps? Arrested, not charged. Thanks Pete!

  • socaire

    One thing about the PSNI/RUC they certainly waste no time.

  • Politico68

    The most important people to consider in all this are the family of Mrs McConville. It has to be a very anxious time for them in their quest for answers regarding their mothers death. I posted on here a while back that if GA was going be asked to answer questions about the case it would be done as to maximize potential negative affect before the elections, so quelle surprise. In any event I hope to God the establishment are not using the McConvilles as pawns simply to try and damage GA and SF. It would be beyond cruel, futile and in my own backfire badly on the political process.

  • Decspur is correct. The majority of people “arrested” are probably released without charge.

  • “One thing about the PSNI/RUC they certainly waste no time.”

    Remind me again, in what year was Mrs. McConville executed?

  • PeterBrown

    “They would need to arrest him to speak to him under caution, its common practice.”

    No they don’t he could have been questioned under caution as a voluntary attender which is what he was when he turned up by arrangement – the significance of the arrest can be overestimated but it was not necessary…

  • Comrade Stalin


    Gerry Adams has been alleged in many places and by many people to have been a senior figure in the IRA, up to and including being the IRA leader – outlined in several books including Peter Taylor, Eamonn Mallie, and Ed Moloney who describes Adams’ precise leadership role in some detail.

    As such, suggesting that other agents are trying to damage SF seems a bit daft. SF are being damaged because they were the political wing of a violent and utterly ruthless paramilitary organization. That fact is coming home to roost.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    absolutely politico. I guess the problem is that he definitely has questions to answer but let’s be realistic. He ain’t gonna answer them and the cops ain’t gonna have the evidence unless he admits something.

    He’ll be out in the morning with a good sob story.

  • Charles_Gould

    It is accepted that the Ira did this and that Adams was Ira leader, the main thing is if the Ira leadership will now come forward with the truth. The truth is what mcconville family deserve.

  • Gummo

    I can’t argue about the need to question Adams but it looks insanely hyperactive, faced against the fact that no British soldiers have been publicly identified arrested for an offence that occurred the same year, in front of the world’s press and umpteen witnesses.

  • Zig70

    Well it ends speculation that Gerry writes his own tweets.
    We should maybe look to where the evidence is coming from. Witness statements can be enough to secure a conviction.

  • socaire

    Latest: Carson questioned about gun running.

  • summerhill

    Very very latest: Robinson and Dodds arrested and questioned about Ulster Resistance and gun smuggling

  • tacapall

    Adams will be released there is no doubt about that his arrest is simply a shot across Sinn Fein’s bows in relation to Sinn Fein’s stance on supporting those families who are seeking justice for state victims. Its strange a politician never mind a ordinary joe bloggs can be arrested for a crime using hearsay evidence yet former or still serving police officers who supplied weapons for others that were used in the murder of 7 people are as far as we know still at large. These weapons were taken from the RUC armory records must be there and senior RUC officers had to approve their handover.

    Justice has to be seen to be done and justice has to be blind what we have is a government that has a cavalier attitude to state victims an attitude that allows them to cherry pick which people they want to punish while turning a blind eye or covering up for their own wrong doing.

  • Jean McConville was not executed. She was murdered.

  • Politico68

    Comrade, I have no problem with GA or anybody being pulled in by the police for questioning. The timing is of the event is obvious, nobody can honestly deny it.

  • Lionel Hutz


    “They would need to arrest him to speak to him under caution, its common practice”

    That’s not correct. They would just caution him without arrest. Whatever the reason, it’s not to deliver the caution.

    You have to have reason to arrest. It can happen commonly when a voluntary attender decides to leave but the police have more questions

  • Kevsterino

    Lionel, I think you’re onto something regarding the possibility of the voluntary attender attempting to remove himself from the room before the interviewers have exhausted their lines of inquiry.

    Under UK law, is the interviewee allowed to refuse self incrimination?

  • socaire

    Now for the nitty gritty. Who instigated this farce? Was it Theresa Villiers, a former Gauleiter, a British minister,a former RUC chief constable, Matt Baggott, a unionist politician? Who?

  • Lionel Hutz


    Yes they are but the police would still want to put all questions to the suspect so that the silence can be used.

  • Dixie Elliott

    The Book about his arrest will be published within hours of his release…

  • Kevsterino


    Silence is golden. I think it is only a matter of time until silence and denial is replaced with “I can’t recall”. Not much more believable than outright denial, but I’m at a loss as how justice can be done after 40-odd years. Not possible to even come close, imho.

  • Lionel Hutz

    The oral history does distinguish this from most historic crimes though. And most of those people are alive. If any of them have incriminate GA then it’s a very peculiar case.

  • Kevsterino

    Well, one man was granted bail, then another placed under arrest in the same day. Coincidence or sequence?

  • I wonder will Gerry remember he was even in Sinn Fein. His amnesia has been very profound recently.

    Gerry keeps lecturing us all that SF is seeking justice and equality. We’ll I am glad to say we are all on the same page on that. Lets hope the McConville family get the same.

  • ayeYerMa

    Just another silly stunt from Adams. Of course he knows he is untouchable and the treacherous British government made their dirty deals a long time ago and will not go back on them.

    Though, you never know — if I were a MI5 strategist I would have said by now that the time for Provo ego-stroking is over and that the normalisation phase really needs to get well under-way.

  • Politico68

    Aye – Adams is arrested and its a ‘stunt’ on his part? Are for f%*&%Ing real?

  • summerhill

    Dixie,I wonder will there be as many names in The Book as what there is in Brendan Hughes book?

  • Charles_Gould

    Very impressive radio interview with Jean McConville’s son on the radio this morning. I hope they get justice – that is all.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Comrade Stalin

    “SF are like a hive mind and are directionless and uncontrolled until they get their orders….”

    Do you have a single member of sf as a friend?

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

    Art of War

  • Roy Walsh

    In light of the fact Adam’s ‘voluntarily’ attended Antrim barracks to, what SF will say was to assist the police there can be no doubt this is a move designed to undermine SF and boost the standard unionist brethren who will claim responsibility on the door-steps.
    The fact is, Adam’s could have been questioned and arrested later if the police discovered anything which was useful to their investigation after further investigating their suspicions, a not unusual matter.
    Equally, Adam’s, himself, a Deputy in Dail Éireann, outside the six county jurisdiction, could have waited himself to assist the police so his timing too is suspect.

  • Granni Trixie


    I so agree. I think that this particulate death strikes our imaginations because of ten children left to fend for themselves.

    I attended Mrs McConvilles funeral in a Falls Rd church and the sadness was almost tangible. Fr Reid was co celebrant but oddly, when he reached out to embrace Helen McKendry ,(one of those children) outside the church, she shrugged off his embrace to walk on. I’m only guessing why, but was this because he was close to GA and spoke highly of him? I know from Seamus McKendrys book on the abduction and their search for the body,that they consider GA gave them the runaround.

  • Jagdip

    Gerry Adams statement yesterday, this appears to be new.

    “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.”

    Back in 2012, it was reported that An Taoiseach said
    “From all the evidence I have read and from all the evidence I have heard, I believe Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA and I was led to believe he was also a member of the army council”

    And in response to which, Gerry Adams reportedly said

    “It is now becoming tedious that every time this Government feels under pressure it raises this issue of me being in the IRA. It is nonsense and the Taoiseach knows this.”

  • Jagdip


    “Jean McConville was not executed. She was murdered.”

    She may have been executed, she may have been murdered, but the only thing that can be said with reasonable certainty is that she was killed. Maybe the killers didn’t mean to kill her or suffered from diminished responsibility (common defences to murder). At best, you can probably use the term employed by David Cameron for Bloody Sunday and say she was “unlawfully killed”.

  • Granni Trixie

    Jag dip

    Bingo! I noted this form of words used by Adams too as signifying the beginning if his attempts to get himself out of the corner into which he has painted himself. Possibly, the beginning of an unravelling of omertà generally?

  • Son of Strongbow

    Shocking example of ‘political policing’. 😉

    The nationalist electorate have always shunned those associated with nationalist terrorist violence.

    Three weeks away from a European Election the attempt to associate the President of Sinn Fein with terrorism is obviously calculated to similarly taint the Sinn Fein candidate in the eyes of the nationalist public. 😉 😉

  • Jagdip

    The deputy leader of SF this morning speaking to Irish radio and reported by the Irish Indo

    “For some time now, certainly within the north, elements within the DUP, elements within a party called Traditionalist Unionist Voice (sic), have been shouting very loudly and looking for an arrest of Gerry Adams”

    It sounds pretty poor when you start blaming the Jim Allister one-man-band (nearly) for Gerry Adams’s arrest. It hands a huge coup to Jimbo, though.

  • redstar2011

    Well well well.

    Do the Shinners and their supporters still believe the Psni et al are changed, no longer politically motivated etc?????

    Those of us non SF Republicans are watching this all with great interest.

    One day Martys sitting with the Queen of England and SF nauseating lecturing us that if you don’t support their path you’re not a Republican etc- maybe Marty can use his establishment influence to get Gerry out.

    Meanwhile the rest of yes will refrain from saying told you so

  • redstar2011

    Typo- rest of us

  • Jagdip,

    Unlawfully killed includes 3 offences, manslaughter, murder and infanticide. Execution is lawfully killed. Mrs McConville was not executed.

  • babyface finlayson

    “Who instigated this farce?”
    Cui bono?

  • Politico68

    Help me out here lads, something has just sprung to mind. Right, so for the last few years or whatever GA has been linked to the killing of Mrs McConville and being a serious hotshot in the IRA. The pressure cooker of political and media accusation has been incredible, I think most will agree to that. Now that he has been arrested, the accusators and the rest of us wait to see what will happen next. Now normally i hate ‘what ifs’, but on this occasion the ‘what if’ scenario is potentially electric. What if he is released without charge? What if, when it comes down to it, there is not enough evidence to convict or whatever?

    We have almost become accustomed to the daily accusations, so after being arrested and then released without charge, is that the end of it?

  • Politico68

    Redstar, this is a problem. If GA ends up in the can for this it will feed into the dissident theme and provide the excuse they have been looking for to reignite the conflict, it is a danger.

  • Charles_Gould

    Granni Trixie

    Very interesting post from you.

    In recent years I have found that individual victims – not umbrella groups that represent them but individual people like Michael McConville – when they just speak naturally and personally of their own experiences it is very powerful.

    I have begun to find myself in great sympathy with them.

    At the time of 1998 we were so keen to “move on” that we wanted to forget the victims, nobody talked to them, we didn’t hear from them.

    Michael McConville’s interview on Radio 4’s Today Programme went out at their peak time – the big 8.10am slot.

    He was allowed to speak and I think it was one of the most moving and impactful interviews I have heard because he was obviously speaking from the heart and with truth.

    I hope that more victims – from all sides – are able to tell their story in this way. I think it really helps with our understanding. I find the victims an increasingly important group in our understanding of where we are.

  • Charles_Gould

    …….and how we treat the victims will be a measure of our humanity.

  • Morpheus

    Two threads and over 60 posts and he isn’t even out of the police station yet. Amazing.

    Rather than bogging on it at 100mph is it not worth waiting a few hours and seeing what the outcome is before getting into a tizzy? If the PSNI have evidence – and they must have something to choose to arrest him rather than talk to him under caution – then he is in the right place, a police station.

    If he is released without charge will this be the end of it? I am guessing no

  • Granni Trixie

    I know its a cliche but does the interview not exemplify ‘speaking truth to power? Mr McConville is also a general reminder that victims/survivors of the troubles have a kind of moral power at their disposal. Normally you would expect the police to act if someone knew who had carried out a crime even if they claim intimidation…wonder what will happen there?

    Mr ’68

    What if… or I were accused of being involved in a crime…at the very least would you not expect the police to follow due process? It may clear our names. Hopefully we are on the road to equality under the law.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Even if Gerry Adams was charged with and convicted of the murder it would have no impact whatsoever on Sinn Fein’s vote. Elected Sinn Fein para politicians with terrorist histories is hardly a shock.

    However the reaction to the arrest in some quarters has been interesting. An individual who has been the subject of several accusations of involvement in a murder is arrested and the police are castigated for acting in a ‘political’ manner.

    In reality if the individual in question, because of his political position and who he is, had not been subject of police inquiry that itself would have been the ‘political’ act.

    That the criticism of the police for following due process (there has been a series of arrests in the McConville case in what appears to be part of a reinvigorated murder investigation) is coming from some in the same community who only the other day were condemning the self same police for not enforcing the law on foot of the Judge Tracey ruling is beyond hypocrisy.

  • zep

    Agree with Morpheus – wait and see.

    Politico – you are banging on about the police’s ‘timing’ etc – GA chose to attend himself, he was not detained elsewhere and brought in. So the timing is of HIS choosing. Politcally motivated?

    “Redstar, this is a problem. If GA ends up in the can for this it will feed into the dissident theme and provide the excuse they have been looking for to reignite the conflict, it is a danger.” – Can you clarify who we can and can’t arrest please? I thought an end to political policing meant ensuring nobody was above the law. People would use the old ‘threat of violence’ card to justify tiptoing around the UVF in East Belfast too, you know. It doesn’t wash.

  • Taoiseach

    Seems clear to me that Gerry decided to gain some political benefit by making himself available for questioning. There would be no evidence and he’s unlikely to “break” under questioning. So he walks and next time Enda squeaks about Jean Gerry can say, “shut yer bake – PSNI say no case”.

    Plan goes slightly awry when cops decide to arrest and hold overnight as they bring in the Boston files. But still, it’ll be hearsay evidence that’s very old. So he’ll be released, Shinners will whinge about political policing and there will be no impact on vote whatsoever.

  • Mirrorballman

    With GA still being held at this time maybe just maybe the PSNI have something concrete on him. I’m putting my money on charges….

  • redstar2011

    Zep if its a case that nobody’s above the law can you explain that to the families of Ballymurphy massacre, or indeed all those slaughtered over the years by UDA who were according to Cameron’s apology- assisted by the state with information in up to 80% of their murders

    The problem is every murder IS NOT viewed equally. Should many ageing retired British soldiers be preparing for arrest as we type?

    I think not.

    This latest circus highlights that be it pseudo Republicans aiding and abetting the Psni or career politicians like MMG trying to pretend that the bad old days are gone- nothing has changed

  • Granni Trixie

    Can anyone explain to me why people vote in numbers for GA?

    His appeal..surely not charisma ..a misguided sense of his role during the troubles? Or is it loyalty to SF …or a protest vote?

  • SDLP supporter

    Granni Trixie, your post at 9.31. That is a hell of an insight. Thanks.

  • zep

    “Zep if its a case that nobody’s above the law can you explain that to the families of Ballymurphy massacre, or indeed all those slaughtered over the years by UDA who were according to Cameron’s apology- assisted by the state with information in up to 80% of their murders” – So… two wrongs DO make a right? Can you clarify then – do you think some people should be above the law, or do you think everyone from any walk of life should be subject to it?

  • GEF

    If GA and other members of SF did not want the PSNI take up Gerry’s offer to interview him yesterday all the President of SF had to do was wait until the elections were over. Then make the offer for an interview with the PSNI.

  • redstar2011


    In an ideal situ no one should be above the law .

    Not only is that not the case here but there’s the even more serious issue that some of those who appear to above the law are supposed to be the ones enforcing it.

    That IMHO makes talking about equality before the law a total farce

  • zep

    Well the problem redstar is that as entitled to that viewpoint as you are, Sinn Fein (who represent the majority of CNR voters) do not share it, as they endorse policing and justice here, sit on the Policing Board and indeed, their president just voluntarily engaged with them over a criminal matter. So obviously the mainstream Republican movement believes that we do have equality before the law.

  • redstar2011

    I reckon Mary Lou doesn’t agree with you on that one Zeppelin- she has said this is political

  • zep

    Maybe SF are partitioning!

  • @Mr. Joe,

    Here is the Merriam-Webster online definition of execute:

    “to kill (someone) especially as punishment for a crime.”

    The IRA executed her for the crime of helping a British soldier. The Republican Movement has been confused for decades about who are the legal authorities on the island of Ireland. Thus it can be said correctly that she was both murdered and executed.

  • PeterBrown


    Is the McConville’s ambivalent attitude to the RC clergy not the result of the PP at the time in their parish being pretty dismissive of their plight after their mother’s abduction?

    Do I not remember something from a recent documentary where they alleged that as a result of her alleged informing and protestant background the local parish refused to help them? Or am I wrong? I am not sure that this is limited to Alec Reid nut I think it was in the Spotlight programme…

  • Dixie Elliott


    “Dixie,I wonder will there be as many names in The Book as what there is in Brendan Hughes book?”

    Aye but Brendan Hughes wasn’t encouraging the continuation of a war while and carrying the coffins of IRA Volunteers to early graves while talking to the Brits about peace behind their backs.

    Nor was he immune from arrest as in the case of Adams and McGuinness. If they didn’t use information from high level touts like Scap, Donaldson and Gerry’s driver McShane over the course of the 80s and after to put Adams away then it proves they never had any intention of doing so. Why? Because he was useful to them back then.

    Could it be a case of – like those above – his usefulness has run out…Or is it a piece of pantomime?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I do not believe for one second that McConville was an informer or anything of that kind. Firstly, where would a mother of eight find the time ? And secondly why would a mother run the risk ?

    Sounds more like the neighbours already disliked her. It is possible she gave assistance to a wounded soldier, as any humane person would. But it sounds like this was the pretext to spin an informer yarn, and in response the IRA simply acted like unrestrained, inhumane bloodthirsty animals.

    It’s very upsetting to re-read her story once again. Her short life – spent, apparently, being a busy mother and doing no harm to anyone at all – was punctuated by tragedy; being forced out of East Belfast; then losing her husband; then being assaulted and, one night later, abducted and murdered. The surviving family have to relive all of this privately, and publicly whenever a story like this one breaks. I’m glad I’m not religious, because if I was I’d be finding any faith I had being sorely tested.

  • Granni Trixie


    We could both be accurate.

  • summerhill

    Scap Donaldson Mc Shane Hughes

  • DC

    That was really moving Comrade hope you feel much better about yourself, you thoroughly decent chap.

  • thisagain

    Don’t forget she was a proddy who converted, so they probably did’nt give a second thought as to getting rid of her.

  • USA

    DC, we already know he is a decent sort, glad you have caught up. Now lets stick to the topic at hand.

  • I can’t help wondering how many thousands of times to every question they put, the answer is always “I was never in the IRA and had no involvement in the abduction and murder of Mrs. McConville” before their heads figuratively explode and they send Adams on his way.