Tuesday 22 August 2017

Not enough evidence for charges as Gerry hits campaign trail

Rebecca Black

There is “insufficient evidence” to pursue a prosecution against Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams in relation to the 1972 murder of Jean McConville, according to reports last night.

The BBC said it understood that no charges would be brought against Mr Adams unless significant new evidence comes to light.

Meanwhile Mr Adams claimed his arrest was a sham, as he attended his first Sinn Fein event since his arrest by detectives investigating the abduction and murder of the Belfast mother-of-10.

Around 700 people – including a South African contingent – cheered and chanted his name last night as Mr Adams entered the Devenish Complex in west Belfast flanked by the North's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein vice-president Mary Lou McDonald.

Sinn Fein supporters were strong in their support for their president at the European election rally.

Mr Adams gave four South African ladies a Nelson Mandela salute to more cheers before taking to the platform. He dismissed his four days of questioning at Antrim Serious Crime Suite by detectives investigating the abduction and murder of Jean McConville as a "sham".

"The sham I was put through in terms of the failure of the PSNI to present any evidential link between me and that awful event is not the way forward," he told the crowd.

"Be sure of this, while we support the PSNI and will not be diverted from that path and building peace, you can see the work we have to do to bring together civic policing that supports every man, woman and child."

Mr Adams also said that he supports Jean McConville's daughter, Helen McKendry, in her plan to pursue a civil action against him through the courts.

"Our resolve is to work with all of the families in the times ahead, but also to be very sensitive that the McConville family is suffering," he said.

"We have said it very clearly, we want an independent, international process, not facilitated by the British or the Irish but an international agency.

"When we talked with Haass we supported those proposals, Unionists didn't, the British didn't.

"That includes the right of families to seek legal redress, so we support the McConville family's bid."

Last night, Helen McKendry's husband Seamus downplayed the comment.

"What else would he say really, it's what diplomats do," he commented in response.

Earlier, former IRA leader Bobby Storey defiantly told the crowd that the stronger Sinn Fein gets, the more it will be attacked.

"Those opposed to the peace process tried and failed once again," he said. "They feel completely threatened by the surge in republican support across the island.

"The stronger we get the harder they will try.

Irish Independent

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