Monday 24 June 2019

Adams yet to contact family of murdered McConville

Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald & Leader Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald & Leader Gerry Adams

Niall O'Connor

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has yet to contact the family of murdered mother-of-ten Jean McConville over a week after claiming her brutal death is something that "happens in wars".

Mr Adams yesterday dismissed queries about his controversial claim, made during a US television interview, before refusing to discuss the matter at a party press conference.

The Louth TD was strongly condemned by several members of the McConville family after he bluntly described their loved-one's horrific murder as something that occurs during "every conflict situation".

The Belfast woman's son Michael accused Mr Adams of being a "hypocrite", claiming that he had previously apologised for the IRA's role in the 1972 abduction and murder which resulted in 10 children being orphaned.

The Irish Independent yesterday asked Mr Adams whether he had been in touch with the McConville family, given that several members had expressed their hurt at his remarks.

Mr Adams was also asked if he would clarify his claims that Ms McConville's murder was something that "happens in wars".

The Sinn Féin politician, who has denied ever being a member of the IRA, replied: "No, I haven't been in touch with that family and I've said all I want to say on that issue."

Seamus McKendry, the husband of Ms McConville's daughter Helen, last night said the remarks did not come as a surprise.

"Maybe Mr Adams will talk to Helen through her barrister, as she is seeking to take him to court. She's not giving up on that until the day she dies," he said.

Mr Adams's comments have been strongly condemned in political circles both north and south of the border.

Ms McConville was abducted from her home in front of her children and murdered by the IRA in 1972.

Mr Adams, who has consistently denied involvement, was questioned by the PSNI last year before being released without charge.

Last week he was asked by CBS 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 not to minimise it.

"That's what American soldiers do, Irish republican soldiers do, you know. That's what happens in every single conflict."

Irish Independent

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