McGuinness addresses Adams rally

Published Saturday, 03 May 2014
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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has addressed a rally in west Belfast against the ongoing detention of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, who is being questioned by police in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.

McGuinness addresses Adams rally
Martin McGuinness at the rally in west Belfast on Saturday. (© Pacemaker)

The protest calling for his release took place at the International Wall on the Falls Road on Saturday afternoon, where a new mural depicting Mr Adams as a "peacemaker, a leader (and) a visionary" was also unveiled.

The former West Belfast MP spent a fourth night in custody at Antrim Serious Crime Suite where he presented himself on Wednesday.

He is being held under the Terrorism Act.

Police had until 8pm on Friday to question the 65-year-old but, following a court bid, they were given until Sunday evening to interview the Louth TD.

Mr McGuinness has condemned the timing of the arrest ahead of upcoming elections as a "political" move by a "small cabal in the PSNI" who have a "negative and destructive agenda to both the peace process and to Sinn Féin".

On Saturday, he also accused police of "deliberately and cynically exploiting the awful killing of Jean McConville and the grief and hurt of her family."

"Our sympathy is with the McConville family," he told the crowd.

The Sinn Féin MLA said some members of the police service are against the peace process.

"No police force anywhere in the world is immune from criticism if it is acting in a politically biased and partisan fashion," he told the crowd.

"The arrest of Gerry Adams is evidence of that fact that there is an element in the PSNI who are against the peace process and hate Gerry Adams and hate Sinn Féin."

"These people want to settle old scores whatever the political cost," he said.

First Minister Peter Robinson, Justice Minister David Ford and Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers have defended the police's handling of the arrest and denied it was politically motivated.

Mrs McConville was aged 37 when she was interrogated, shot in the back of the head and then secretly buried - becoming one of the so-called "Disappeared" victims of the Troubles.

Her body was not found until 2003 on a beach in Co Louth, 50 miles from her home.

A veteran republican - 77-year-old Ivor Bell - was charged in March with aiding and abetting the murder and five others have been detained and questioned.

The recent police activity followed a decision by a US court compelling a Boston university to hand over to the PSNI recorded interviews with republicans about Mrs McConville's murder.

Mr Adams has always strenuously denied allegations levelled by former republican colleagues that he had any involvement in the murder of Mrs McConville, who was wrongly suspected of being an informer for the British Army.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
pip in belfast wrote (269 days ago):
just an idea why dont we vote none of the old school dinosaurs in that are against democracy against law and have no intrest in serving the wider community as a whole lets vote in people who have no terrorist links no terrorist pasts and no criminal convictions and see how the country gos from there lets use are votes to get the changes we want and not the changes the old firm want its your vote if you want change you are the only one who can make it happen then just maube this place could have the brighter future we deserve we wont having politicians holding a gun to the head of the psni and anyone else thay dares to ask for honesty justice respect and equality i know this will never happen but damn how good would this place be if we did !!
Aoife in Belfast wrote (269 days ago):
@belfast in belfast he didnt hand himself in until may? Why should he do the PSNIs job for them? If they really wanted to speak to/arrest him because of this 'evidence' then they should have got off their backsides and done it themselves! At least he took the initative to present himself to the police!
M in Belfast wrote (269 days ago):
Tommy in Holywood, you are a prime example of how people are willing to be judge and jury themselves without knowing or even wanting to know what actual evidence there is. You cant keep anyone in jail without evidence anymore simply because a bunch of thugs demand it.
kevin in dgn wrote (270 days ago):
@ vulcan co. louth is indeed 50 miles from belfast in a car and alot less in a straight line
maggie in north west wrote (270 days ago):
Jim lurgan. yes loyalists did take part in the boston project. Denise I know how you feel about UTV my keyboard is hot from commenting but where are they in UTV site I say it is Sinn Fein that is saying this is to interfere with their election chances but I SAY GERRY ADAMS PICKED THIS TIME TO VISIT THE PSNI STATION
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