Sinn Féin: “What happened was done with British cabinet approval…”

A few days ago on Eamonn Maillie’s blog, Brian Rowan gravely informed us that, rather than the wild paranoid ramblings of a party desperate to distract attention from their threat to “review” their support for policing if the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, was charged as a result of the investigation into the abduction, murder and secret burial of Jean McConville in 1972,  Sinn Féin’s latest outburst is evidence that “we’re not out of the political woods just yet.” The …

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DPP: it could be “many many months” before a decision is made on whether or not Gerry Adams will be prosecuted…

As Newton Emerson notes in today’s Irish News – on some of the coverage of the arrest and questioning of Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, in relation to the abduction, murder, and secret burial of Jean McConville in 1972. Mystery surrounds BBC claims that the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) would not be bringing charges against Gerry Adams.  The BBC began reporting this on early Monday evening, barely 24 hours after Adams had been released pending a file to the Public Prosecution …

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Adams may dodge legal bullet on similar public interest grounds as the Paras…

Excellent summary of the legal position from Joshua Rosenberg in the Guardian today, which points out that even if the PSNI have sufficient evidence to charge Gerry Adams, a public interest defence (not dissimilar to the one the Secretary of State has used to block the Ballymurphy and La Mon families), could see him walk away free from a criminal trial… Once prosecutors have concluded that there is enough evidence, they must decide whether a prosecution is in the public …

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Daithí McKay: Sinn Féin will not be deflected by ‘old guard’ within the police

Slugger is pleased to host a piece on the recent arrest of Gerry Adams from Sinn Fein’s Economy spokesman, Daithí McKay MLA Last week those who have opposed the Peace Process and Sinn Féin got what they always wanted – the arrest of Gerry Adams. It served a number of interests, those anti-Sinn Féin voices who have sought to undermine the Good Friday Agreement; the selfish and strategic interests of the NIO who want to distract public attention from the …

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Matt Baggott: “Under the Patten architecture, to which all political parties have signed up…”

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott has rejected Sinn Fein’s claims of “political policing” in the arrest and questioning of party president Gerry Adams.  And in doing so he highlights an inconvenient truth for the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister.  From the BBC report In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Baggott said the accusation of a “dark side” within the PSNI was one he refuted. “Under the Patten architecture, to which all political parties have signed up, there are numerous ways …

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Compulsory reading: Susan McKay on Jean McConville’s life and death

Anyone familiar with some of the stories of the hundreds and thousands of victims of state and paramilitary forces will understand that each has its own unique capacity to appall. Jean McConville’s is just one of several which has refused to go away. In part because of the brutal context for the killing, and its potential political ramifications. Today in London Review of Books the writer Susan McKay tells Mrs McConville’s story in considerable and telling detail from her first …

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“Something, Something, Something, Dark Side…” – redux

More sound and fury from Sinn Féin over the continuing, agreed, questioning of party president Gerry Adams, TD, about the abduction, murder and secret burial of Jean McConville in 1972.  This time the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, is recycling a 2011 phrase from his party chairman, Declan Kearney.  And, apparently, he has super-sekrit sources… Mr McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, told a press conference at Stormont that the arrest of his party leader and “friend” was politically …

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“Adams isn’t the first person to be arrested in connection with this murder…”

This is worth sharing more widely… Henry Farrell teaches at the George Washington University in Washington and blogs at Crooked Timber, and has some useful thoughts on the matter… How important is Gerry Adams for Irish politics? Not as important as he used to be. Sinn Fein, his political party, haven’t sought to bury their past association with the IRA’s terrorist campaign, but haven’t heavily emphasized it either. It’s not a vote winner. There have been widespread allegationsthat Adams played a …

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“By moving so quickly to criticise a police investigation and question the motives of the officers involved…”

Fianna Fail have responded to Mary Lou McDonald’s Morning Ireland interview on the Adams arrest with this statement from the Security spokesman Niall Collins: Gerry Adams has been arrested in connection with the murder of Jean McConville. That is an ongoing police inquiry and I do not believe that politicians from any quarter should interfere with or undermine the work of the investigation team. In that context I believe the comments of his colleague Mary Lou McDonald are particularly inappropriate …

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McConville’s son fears that he or one of his family members “would get shot”.

Two interviews. One with Jean McConville’s son Michael speaking on Good Morning Ulster this morning saying that although he was sure he knew who had killed his mother, he lived in fear of what might happen if he disclosed his suspicions: listen to ‘I know who killed my mother, says Jean McConville's son’ on Audioboo Conor Murphy on Nolan later dodged the point: listen to ‘MPs Conor Murphy & Gregory Campbell clash over Adams arrest #BBCNolan’ on Audioboo Mick FealtyMick …

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Boston College tapes unlikely to lead Adams to gaol but suggest any truth process is pointless

The arrest and charging of Ivor Bell has been covered already on Slugger and below Mick has mentioned the fact that Gerry Adams has made himself available to questioning by the PSNI. Although the McConville family remain hopeful many have suggested that it is inconceivable that Adams will be prosecuted. Adams has repeatedly denied that he had anything to do with Jean McConville’s murder just as he has denied that he was ever in the IRA. He has also claimed …

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“when a major political leader tells such an obvious falsehood about a defining part of his life…”

Also for the record, Ed Moloney has responded to Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ attack on the Boston College oral history project.  From Ed Moloney’s blog I don’t intend to spill a lot of ink responding to Gerry Adams’ recent statement taking yet another swipe at the motives of those who were interviewed and who did the interviewing for the Boston College oral history archive. That is because I have already answered a very similar charge from Mary Lou McDonald. …

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Gerry Adams makes himself available to the PSNI for questioning…

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 …

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Ivor Bell charged in connection with Jean McConville abduction and murder

The BBC are reporting that Ivor Bell, who was arrested earlier this week, has been charged in connection with the abduction and murder of Jean McConville in December 1972.  From the BBC report Ivor Bell, 77, who was a senior leader in the Provisional IRA in the 1970s, was arrested at his home in Andersonstown on Tuesday. He has been charged with aiding and abetting murder and membership of the IRA. He is expected to appear in court on Saturday. …

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“I believe the time is apposite to reveal what the interviewees did not disclose”

Eating dinner in the Burns Library of Boston College last night, I glanced around at the old manuscripts sitting on the shelves, knowing that the now infamous oral history tapes from the “Belfast Project” must be stored within a room or two of where were sitting. On Friday morning, researchers Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre were back in Belfast High Court seeking a judicial review of the “decision of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to request the United States …

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Gerry Adams “considering all legal remedies open to him…”

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness may believe that Gerry Adams’ “answer” is “the end of it” concerning questions over his party leader’s credibility, but the Herald reports that they have received a letter from the still Crown Steward and Bailiff of Northstead‘s solicitors following the publication of an interview with Jean McConville’s daughter, Helen McKendry.  From the Herald article Adams’s solicitors McCartan & Burke claimed the article represented a “serious defamation” of their client who is “considering all legal remedies open to him”. Ms …

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Repaying the moral debt owed to Jean McConville…

There’s a very powerful piece by Amanda Foreman on the importance of remembering in detail and without the darkest recesses of our past. It concerns the abduction, torture and killing of housewife and widow, Jean McConville. But it focuses less on the act itself than the institutional lying that has attended it to this very day: …though it was a group of individuals who killed Jean McConville, it is society that condoned her persecution in life and afterwards. Prejudice made …

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