independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Adams 'double standards' blasted

Gerry Adams has been accused of double standards after making a new call for the establishment of an independent truth commission.

Unionist and nationalist members of the Northern Ireland Assembly said the Sinn Fein president's position was undermined by republicans' continuing reluctance to speak out about their role in the Troubles.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said: "He cannot demand the truth from the State, the police and the army, but, at the same time, hide behind a cloak of secrecy. Many people would conclude that there are double standards."

Mr Adams, now a Louth TD, has consistently denied being a member of the IRA. He said a truth and reconciliation commission could help cement the Northern Ireland peace process but claimed vested interests had, so far, stopped it being set up.

Mr Donaldson added: "Sadly there are thousands of victims who would like to know the truth about what happened to their loved ones. A good place to start would be if some of our leading political figures were prepared to set an example and come clean about their own involvement."

SDLP deputy leader Dolores Kelly said both the British and Irish governments had a duty to deal with the past in an honest and ethical manner. But the Upper Bann MLA said: "Any time Gerry Adams wants to tell the truth we would welcome that."

Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price, who was buried this week, claimed Mr Adams had been her IRA Officer Commanding during the early 1970s. She specifically implicated him in the murder of Jean McConville, a Catholic mother-of-10 from west Belfast who was abducted, killed and secretly buried in 1972.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is presently embroiled in a transatlantic legal battle to obtain testimony given by Price to researchers at Boston College.

Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott accused Mr Adams of taking a hypocritical stance on the truth and trying to control the pace of peace. He said: "It is almost laughable - if it wasn't so serious. The hypocrisy of Adams and his cohorts is amazing."

Mr Adams made his calls after it was revealed that former IRA men would not testify during the Smithwick Tribunal. Instead they have provided written statements to the inquiry investigating Garda collusion in the deaths of two senior RUC officers in 1989.

Press Association

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