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Adams will not be prosecuted over McConville death

Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and six other individuals who were reported to Northern Ireland’s public prosecution service by the PSNI in relation to the abduction and murder of Jean McConville will not be prosecuted.

The Louth TD presented himself at Antrim police station in April 2014 where he was arrested and held for four days before his release on 4 May.

Ms McConville, a widowed mother of ten, was abducted from her home in the Divis flats in Belfast in December 1972.

She was interrogated, shot in the back of the head and then secretly buried south of the border – becoming one of the “Disappeared” victims of the Troubles.

Her body was not found until 2003, when a storm uncovered her remains at Shelling Hill beach in north Louth, 80km from her home.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Pamela Atchison said: “We have given careful consideration to the evidence currently available in respect to each of the three men and four women reported and have concluded that it is insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction against any of them for a criminal offence.”

Jean McConville with some of her 10 children prior to her abduction

Jean McConville with some of her 10 children prior to her abduction

The PPS said the evidence against the seven came from a number of different sources.

In some cases hearsay evidence was provided by the Boston College Belfast Project, it added.

The PPS noted that “there has already been a decision to prosecute an eighth individual, Ivor Bell, who was arrested and charged in March 2014 and is currently before the court. The decision is to prosecute Ivor Bell on charges of soliciting the murder of Jean McConville.”

Ms Atchison added that the PPS had had a number of meetings with the McConville family and had kept them up to date on all decisions about prosecutions.

She thanked the family for their engagement, and said the PPS would continue to engage with them on the prosecution of Mr Bell.

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