herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Gerry Adams is just a hypocrite, says Jean McConville's son

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Jean McConville

The son of Jean McConville has accused Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams of being a hypocrite after he claimed her murder was something that “happens in wars”.

Michael McConville said the kidnapping, execution and burial of his mother was a war crime and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

“I think that Gerry Adams is a hypocrite,” Mr McConville said. “If this had have 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.”

When 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.”

2015-04-06_iri_8385149_I2.JPG

Jean McConville

The McConville family has hit back, insisting the murder was “ordered and planned”.

“There’s Gerry Adams saying this is a war,” Mr McConville continued on RTE’s Morning Ireland.

“If this is a war then the execution and death and burial of our mother, and kidnapping of our mother, is a war crime. Ireland is the only place where people are not allowed to be charged with war crimes.”

In 1972 Ms McConville was dragged away from her home at Divis Flats in Belfast by an IRA gang of up to 12 men and women and murdered after being accused of passing information to the British army in Belfast.

Former IRA man Brendan Hughes has claimed in the Boston tapes that Mr Adams had a role in ordering the murder.

Yesterday Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald defended Mr Adams.

FLIPPANT

Ms McDonald said she did not believe Mr Adams was being “flippant” and that her party has never intended to compound the hurt of any family affected by the Troubles.

But asked whether she agrees with Mr Adams’ remarks that the mother of 10’s murder was an act of war, Ms McDonald said “awful things did happen”.

“In the course of the conflict, awful things did happen. They happened on all sides,” she said.

“We are at a stage now where I hope we begin the process of recognising those hurts and addressing them and, where we can, bringing some level of closure and comfort and even reconciliation to everybody concerned.”

hnews@herald.ie

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