Gerry Adams, the Irish Republican leader of Sinn Fein, was arrested on Wednesday night in relation to the murder of Jean McConville by the IRA.
McConville, a widow and mother of 10, was abducted from her home in 1972 after being wrongly accused of being an informant. Her body was later found buried on an Irish beach more than 30 years later.
4. In a statement on the Sinn Fein website, Adams confirmed he had spoken to police but said he had no involvement in McConville’s death.
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.
As a republican leader I have never shirked my responsibility to build the peace. This includes dealing with the difficult issue of victims and their families. Insofar as it is possible I have worked to bring closure to victims and their families who have contacted me. Even though they may not agree, this includes the family of Jean McConville.
I believe that the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice to her and her family.
Well publicised, malicious allegations have been made against me. I reject these.
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.
Sinn Féin has signed up to the Haass proposals for dealing with the past. While I also respect the right of families if they wish to seek legal redress there remains a huge onus on the two governments and the political parties to face up to all these issues and to agree a victim centred process which does this.
Jean McConville was one of Northern Ireland’s “Disappeared”, individuals who were kidnapped, killed and secretly buried by the IRA during the troubles. Many of their bodies have still not been recovered.