Mary Lou McDonald: ‘I won’t be taking over Sinn Fein leadership while Gerry Adams is under arrest’
Sinn Fein Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has said she won’t be taking over the leadership of the party while Gerry Adams is under arrest.
“Gerry Adams is the democratically elected leader of Sinn Fein and he has our full confidence,” she said this afternoon.
Speaking with Claire Byrne on RTE Radio today, Ms McDonald repeated her claim that Mr Adams arrest had been “politically contrived and politically malicious”.
She also said that Adams’ arrest (65) had raised a “question mark around all of the huge progress we have made over policing in the North”.
“There are no special rules for Gerry Adams. But it is simply wrong for those in policing authorities to misuse their powers in a politically calculated way.”
Mr Adams was taken into police custody on Wednesday night for questioning over the murder of Ms Jean McConville. The PSNI successfully applied to extend Mr Adams detention by a further 48 hours yesterday.
Ms McDonald said she was “beyond angry” at Adams’ detention and had not spoken directly to him since Wednesday evening when he was on his way to the PSNI interview.
“Whatever gloss people try to put on this matter, the fact is that we are now on 3 May and there will be elections on 23 and 24 May in the south and north of Ireland and the President of Sinn Fein is in custody.”
She also claimed that the foundation of his arrest was dubious. “The basis of his arrests seems to be tapes which were maliciously compiled to target the peace process in its totality and Gerry Adams.”
She also called for his release “without any further delay”.
Ms Donald also criticised Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tainiste Eamon Gilmore for “making glib commentaries”.
“Instead of dismissing Sinn Fein, they should be looking very closely at all of this.”