Thursday 23 November 2017

Gerry Adams won’t be prosecuted over McConville case

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Mother-of-10 Jean McConville vanished in 1972

The children of Jean McConville have vowed to continue their fight for justice after prosecutors decided not to pursue Gerry Adams and six others over her murder.

Following a review of police files the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in the North concluded there was “insufficient” evidence against four women and three men — including the Sinn Fein leader and leading republican Bobby Storey — to prosecute.

Ms McConville, a widowed mum-of-10, was abducted from her home in the Divis flats area of west Belfast in December 1972, before being killed and secretly buried. The 37-year-old’s body was found on a Co Louth beach in 2003.


Mr Adams described the decision not to prosecute him as “long overdue”. “There was never any real basis for questioning me in respect of this case. I played no act or part in Jean McConville’s death,” he said.

Mr Adams (66) was arrested last May and interviewed by police. He has always denied any wrongdoing.

Mrs McConville’s son Michael said that her family would fight for justice for as long as it takes.

“Those who ordered, planned and carried out this war crime thought that their guilt could disappear along with her body,” Michael said.

“But it has not and we will continue to seek justice for our mother and see those responsible held to account, no matter how long it takes.”

Michael, who was present the night his mother was taken, said the family wer “shattered” after the decision.

Mother-of-10 Jean McConville vanished in 1972

Mother-of-10 Jean McConville vanished in 1972

“But we really knew what the outcome was going to be. We are just hoping new information comes in,” he said. “We know there are people out there with information about my mother’s case and we would like them to come forward and help us.”


Michael said he could recall his mother being dragged screaming from the family home.

“My mother was in her own home when these people came in and took her out of it,” he said. “They took her down to a beach and shot her. They had her arms and legs tied up and then they secretly buried her.

“This has happened in Europe before and the people that did it were brought to The Hague for war crimes. What is the difference?”

The husband of Mrs McConville’s eldest daughter Helen said the family were still contemplating taking a legal action against those they believe were involved in the murder.

Seamus McKendry said: “We would not be entirely happy but we have to respect the law.”

PPS deputy director Pamela Atchison said consideration was given to the evidence available. She said, however, that it was “insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction against any of them for a criminal offence.”

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