Friday 24 October 2014

McGuinness: ‘Arrest of Gerry Adams inextricably linked with local and EU elections’

Published 03/05/2014 | 15:38

NORTHERN Ireland's deputy first minister Martin McGuinness today accused the PSNI of settling old scores in the arrest of party leader Gerry Adams in connection with the murder of Jean McConville.

He also said the arrest was ‘inextricably linked” with the local and EU elections.

Mr McGuinness was speaking at the opening of a mural of Gerry Adams in Belfast depicting him as a peacemaker.

He was standing alongside party members – one of which held a picture of Gerry Adams and Nelson Mandela with the caption “Defend the peace process.” Mr Adams remains in police custody today in Belfast.

Mr McGuinness said his Sinn Fein had worked harder than any other party to bring about policing reform in Northern Ireland.

“Our negotiating strategy succeeded in achieving new political arrangement but we always knew that there remained within the PSNI an embittered rump of the old RUC,” he added.

“These people want to settle old score and they want to do it whatever the political cost.

No police force in the world is immune from criticism if it is acting in a politically biased and partisan fashion.”

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness addresses nationalist gathered on the Falls Road in support of Gerry Adams on May 3, 2014 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Sinn Fein leader has spent a third night in police custody in connection with the 1972 murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness addresses nationalist gathered on the Falls Road in support of Gerry Adams on May 3, 2014 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Sinn Fein leader has spent a third night in police custody in connection with the 1972 murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
A mural of Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams is painted on a wall on the Falls Road, Belfast . Photo: Niall Carson
Work continues on a mural depicting Gerry Adams on the Falls Road, Belfast as detectives questioning Sinn Fein leader over the murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville are to ask a judge for more time to interview him, Martin McGuinness has said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 2, 2014. With the initial 48-hour deadline looming for officers to either charge or release Mr Adams after his arrest on Wednesday night, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is to apply for an extension, the Deputy First Minister said. See PA story ULSTER McConville. Photo credit should read: David Young/PA Wire
Work continues on a mural depicting Gerry Adams on the Falls Road, Belfast as detectives questioning Sinn Fein leader over the murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville are to ask a judge for more time to interview him, Martin McGuinness has said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 2, 2014. With the initial 48-hour deadline looming for officers to either charge or release Mr Adams after his arrest on Wednesday night, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is to apply for an extension, the Deputy First Minister said. See PA story ULSTER McConville. Photo credit should read: David Young/PA Wire

Mr McGuinness said the arrest of his party’s leader was “evidence” that there was an element in the PSNI who are against the peace process.

Mr McGuinness said there was an attempt to charge Mr Adams with membership of the IRA in 1978 and his current detention was a “replay” of those events.

“That case was based on hearsay, gossip and newspaper articles and it failed then and it will fail now,” he said to applause from onlookers.

ENDS

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