SINN Fein leader Gerry Adams has again been forced to deny he had any involvement in the murder of Jean McConville.
He was speaking as relatives of Ms McConville, a mother of 10 who was killed by the IRA in 1972, spent the weekend actively campaigning against Mr Adams in Louth, where he is standing for a Dail seat.
Members of the McConville family took to the streets handing out 'Anyone but Adams' leaflets.
Helen McKendry, a daughter of the murdered woman, described Mr Adams's bid for a Dail seat as a "slap in the face" for the family.
Mr Adams again attempted to distance himself from any involvement in the death of Ms McConville, who was accused by the IRA of being an informer -- a claim her family deny.
"I respect their (the McConvilles) right to protest. I have to say that in whatever strongest way possible I can articulate it, that I had nothing to do with the abduction and the killing," he said.
"I have condemned it. I have apologised for it because Irish republicans committed that offence."
Ms McConville was abducted, killed and secretly buried by the IRA in Co Louth in 1972 and became known as one of the "disappeared". Her body was found in 2003.
Ms McKendry handed out leaflets in Dundalk on Saturday. She also held a placard urging people to remember Tom Oliver, who was also abducted and killed by the IRA, and Det Gda Jerry McCabe.
Mr Adams said: "I respect their right to protest but this is a very, very serious charge. It is a charge which is at the very core of me as an Irish republican and I have been very straightforward in trying to deal with it as best as I can very compassionately."
The issue of whether Mr Adams was involved resurfaced last year in a book entitled 'Voices From the Grave', by journalist Ed Moloney.
In it, former IRA commander Brendan Hughes, who died in 2008, claimed Mr Adams had ordered the murder.