Wednesday 21 February 2018

Adams accused of denigrating Jean's memory

Jean McConville
Jean McConville
Gerry Adams
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The family of Jean McConville has accused Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams of having denigrating her memory to "that of a thing".

Loved ones of the murdered mother of 10 have reacted angrily after Mr Adams described the 1972 murder as "something that happens in wars".

The Louth TD, who was previously questioned over Ms McConville's death but released without charge, made the claims in an interview aired on US television station CBS on Sunday night.

When asked by interviewer Scott Pelley "How do you orphan 10 children, what kind of depravity is that?", Mr Adams responded: "That's what happens in wars, Scott. That's what American soldiers do, Irish republican soldiers do, you know. That's what happens in every single conflict."

And in a move that has further outraged the McConville family, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald stood by Mr Adams's claims, adding that "awful things did happen" over the course of the Troubles.

Members of the McConville family yesterday reacted angrily to the comments and insisted they will not accept any apology.

Ms McConville's son Mark said if his mother's death was an event that happened during a war, then it should be treated as a war crime. He described Mr Adams as "two-faced" and claimed he had apologised to him "behind closed doors" before referring to the murder as something that "happens in wars".

"I think, to be honest, that Gerry Adams is a hypocrite," Mr McConville told RTé's 'Morning Ireland'.

"If this had happened to an IRA family and 10 children were left orphaned, would he say the same thing? I don't think so.

"The reason why I'm calling him a hypocrite is because he apologised to me in one of the meetings that we had, and he apologised for the murder of my mother, and he apologised for the way the IRA treated our family after," he added.

And writing in today's Irish Independent, Seamus McKendry, the husband of Ms McConville's daughter Helen, said the family will not accept any apology from Mr Adams.

"I'd say to Gerry Adams, don't bother with some sort of half-hearted apology for your callous vocabulary. Remember when you're called upon to explain your part in the war, that 'these things happen'," he said.

Mr McKendry, who has campaigned consistently for justice for the Disappeared, said he and his wife are considering their legal options over the comments.

He said Mr Adams had "denigrated her (Jean's) memory to that of a 'thing'", adding that he has equally treated Mairia Cahill in an appalling manner.

Irish Independent

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