Kenny calls for Adams IRA admission

Kenny calls for Adams IRA admission
Gerry Adams has always denied having been a member of the IRA
MARY MINIHAN
Irish Times
Sunday, September 30, 2012

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness has been “forthright enough and honest enough” to admit his past membership of the IRA and called on party leader Gerry Adams to do the same.

Mr Adams has always denied having been a member of the IRA.

Speaking at last night’s Fine Gael presidential dinner in Dublin, Mr Kenny said he believed Mr Adams had also been a member of the IRA’s so-called army council.

“From all of the evidence that I’ve read and all the evidence that I’ve heard, my belief is that he was a member of the IRA and I’m led to believe he was also a member of the army council of the IRA,” he said.

“When Deputy Adams says to me that he wants a truth and reconciliation commission in respect of dealings in Northern Ireland, I’d like him to be absolutely truthful about this.

“I had a serious discussion with Martin McGuinness, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, and he was forthright enough and honest enough to admit that he was a member of the IRA. Gerry Adams might like to make a statement about that.”

Transcript: Ed Moloney interview on Radio Free Eireann, 29 September 2012

Transcript: Ed Moloney interview on Radio Free Eireann, 29 September 2012
Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5 FM Pacifica Radio
Saturday 29 September 2012

John McDonagh (JM) and Sandy Boyer (SB) interview journalist Ed Moloney (EM) who is the former director of The Belfast Project about recent developments in Ireland.

(1:34 PM EST)

John McDonagh (JM): Now when you open up your email box alot of times you don’t know whether I should read the article or shouldn’t I?

But when the headline reads: “Why Niall O’Dowd is One of the World’s Greatest A-Holes” and it’s on The Broken Elbow. (If you just type in “broken elbow” you’ll find Ed Moloney’s blog.) And when you see a headline like that you say: This is a story I have to read!

And I’ll just read you a paragraph or two. (JM reads the first paragraph of Moloney’s article.)

Now that’s just the first paragraph and I’ve read you there, the headline. Well, the story that we’ve been covering here for quite a while now on Radio Free Éireann made it into the national news here in the United States on a CBS national news report. And we’re gonna play that clip and then speak with Ed Moloney and talk about the fallout of this And, about that great headline: “Why Niall O’Dowd is One of the World’s Greatest A-Holes”. Oh! You can’t beat that! Talk about a “grabbing headline”! But here’s the CBS clip:

**Audio portion of CBS News London’s Dolours Price interview is played.**

Sandy Boyer (SB): And we’re joined on the phone by Ed Moloney, the director of The Belfast Project, the oral history project of The Troubles based on interviews with IRA veterans, like (and) including Dolours Price, and former UVF combatants. Now Ed, thanks for coming on.

Ed Moloney (EM): No problem.

SB: And of course the big news this week was that Dolours not only did that interview with CBS but did an interview with The London Sunday Telegraph. What’s your reaction to that?

EM: Well, I’m obviously very disappointed that Dolours has done this and I’m also very angry because what she has done here is going to have ramifications for alot of people.

But to give my full reaction and using all the words that I would like to use I think is something that I should do at a different time – further on in the future.

We have a legal fight on our hands which we’re still battling away at. We have a verdict in the Belfast Courts on Monday on our application for a judicial review of the PSNI action.

And we also have an application in to the Supreme Court, in front of Mr. Justice Breyer, to get a Stay on these interviews being handed over until such time as the Supreme Court has had time to consider the application by our lawyers, Eamonn Dornan and Jim Cotter, that the Supreme Court should overturn these subpoenas and return the interviews to where they belong.

So that’s our priority at the moment. And what Dolours has done, Dolours has done. There’s nothing we can do about it except move on and try to win the battle that we have to win.

But as I say, I’m extremely disappointed, as are I think alot of other people.

SB: Well Ed, of course, this is particularly significant because it’s an interview with Dolours Price that has been subpoenaed by the US government on behalf of the British government and that you’re fighting over.

But Ed, both CBS and The London Sunday Telegraph – they strongly implied – that Dolours had talked in her interview with The Belfast Project about Jean McConville. Now that’s something you’ve denied under oath…

EM: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean… I can use all the words at my command here in terms of the strength and vigor of my denial of this.

That there is just no way that Dolours Price talked about the Jean McConville affair in her interviews for The Belfast Project. Absolutely not.

We have raised this, at this point in this affair, because it is something that we wanted to raise from the very outset.

Because our argument always was: that this PSNI subpoena, or set of subpoenas, were essentially flawed. And what I mean by that is that they were based on false information. Based upon the allegation that was contained in The Sunday Life newspaper which was itself derived from a taped interview that Dolours gave to a woman called Alison Morris in The Irish News.

I don’t know what Dolours said in that interview to The Irish News but I presume that she mentioned something about giving an interview to Boston College. Which she certainly did.

But she did not mention the Jean McConville affair in her interview with Anthony McIntyre and therefore, the basis of this subpoena, that the PSNI had reason to believe that her interview with Mackers (Ed Note: familiar name for Anthony McIntyre) contained information that was useful for their investigation, was wrong – it was false – it was flawed. It was just wrong.

We’ve been trying to make that argument for a long now and that’s why we’ve been trying to gain intervention into the case proper in the United States.

That’s why we applied to the First Circuit in Boston: to gain intervention. We were, unfortunately, denied. If we had been granted intervention we would have gone into court and said: This subpoena is bogus!

And we would have made that case as strongly as possible.

But the opportunity came up with this judicial review in Belfast and we thought that this was the appropriate moment and the appropriate time at which to make this point. And that’s why we decided to make it in the Belfast courts. And it’s now out there in the open and that’s where it should be. It should have been there from the very start.

As you know I have been arguing from the very outset of this business that the behaviour and the motivation of the PSNI in all of this affair is extremely suspect.

They made no effort at all to interview or to retrieve material from The Irish News. They made no effort at all to retrieve material from The Sunday Life. One has to ask: Why they failed to do such simple things?

One has to look at the timing of all of this: that the subpoenas were served shortly afterward, the process of serving the subpoenas started within a couple of weeks of the election in the Irish Republic which led to Gerry Adams entering the Irish Parliament, entering the Dáil.

And incidentally, leaving the British Parliament.

So if the police had in their minds that they wanted to pursue Gerry Adams- and I think that’s their target in all of this. I think they’re are elements within the PSNI, old RUC Special Branch elements, who want to settle scores from the peace process days and gain some sort of revenge for what happened to the RUC, and particularly the RUC Special Branch.

Pursuing someone who’s a member of a foreign parliament is a good deal easier than pursuing someone who’s a member of the domestic parliament. And I suspect that that’s why the timing took place. I suspect that’s why they didn’t go near The Irish News. I suspect that’s why they didn’t go near The Sunday Life.

This is a political action by the PSNI. It’s a renewal of the war against the IRA.

It’s going back into events that happened pre-1998 after a peace deal in which we were all told a line was to be drawn under all of this stuff. Well, they’ve decided to erase that line and begin again.

And that to me amounts to a dismissal of – and an undermining of -the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process. And it’s a very, very suspicious action from day one. How it’s going to work out? I don’t know.

JM: Ed, I want to go back to the article that you’ve written in The Broken Elbow…I’d recommend anyone to just to google The Broken Elbow with Ed Moloney (Ed: http://thebrokenelbow.com/)

I’m looking currently now at The Irish Voice newspaper – a bizarre editorial as you said finally trying to get now ahead of what’s going on with the Boston case.

But a part of Niall O’Dowd’s editorial says: “the Boston College interviews were deeply flawed efforts to undermine the peace process”.

I mean, how does he come to that? Everybody was being interviewed for it.

EM: Absolutely. And of course he doesn’t know who’s been interviewed.

I don’t know everyone who was interviewed. I guessed at the some of the names but some of the names were not given to me. I reviewed interviews on the basis of anonymity. You know, a person who was interviewed would be assigned a letter of the alphabet to identify them and I would then read them. So I don’t know everyone but I know what organisations they belonged to.

And the whole gamut of Republicanism is reflected in, or most of the gamut of Republicanism, is reflected in the interviews. So to call it, like, an IRA archives, is actually technically inaccurate. It’s more a “republican” with a maybe small “r” archive in that sense?

But Niall O’Dowd knows nothing at all about what’s in the archive.

In order for him to make pronouncements like that is just absurd. He hasn’t got the information to do that. And the insinuation of course is that this was all done for political reasons, you know? That we had a political motivation in trying to sort of undermine the peace process, and so on and so forth.

Well again that falls on the basis that the people who were interviewed reflected a pretty wide range of Republican opinion.

SB: But Ed, before we let you go: what’s the impact of this likely to be on the peace process?

EM: It depends how far the PSNI are prepared to take this. And I don’t want to speculate too much because that might suggest that I know what’s in the interviews and I don’t want to go there. But let’s say some of the speculation is correct and that we could lead into a situation where people get charged.

It’s very possible, if the speculation is correct, that amongst those who could be charged would be people like Gerry Adams.

And if that happens, imagine what the political repercussions of that are.
Or, imagine what the repercussion are if he isn’t get charged – in the sense that if there is evidence out there which would suggest that he played a role in this, that or the other but he’s being excluded from the prosecution, the list of people being prosecuted- there would be as much a row as there would be if they included him.

And let’s say they included him in this prosecution. Which is, as I say if the speculation is correct, then that’s not something which is theoretical – it’s very possible.

What happens then to the power-sharing institutions?

Will Sinn Féin, can Sinn Féin afford to stay inside a power-sharing government when its leader, the guy who led them into the power-sharing executive, the guy who made the compromises with the British government, who made the deals, ends up in court as the result of British government activity?

I can’t see circumstances in which the Sinn Féin party could actually afford to stay in that arrangement.

Because they would lose credibility – they would lose face with their own supporters- and I’d think they would have very little option but to walk out.

If they walk out then the power-sharing executive collapses. If the power-sharing executive collapses – then you don’t have a peace deal anymore.

SB: Well Ed, thank you very much.

EM: Okay.

SB: If you want to keep on top of this story subscribe to The Broken Elbow, that’s Ed Moloney’s blog. Well worth it. And so Ed again, thank you very much. And we’re going to be keeping on top of this story as best we can.

(end 1:50 PM EST)

Adams says IRA allegations against him ‘deeply hurtful’

Adams says IRA allegations against him ‘deeply hurtful’
MARY MINIHAN
The Irish Times
Friday, September 28, 2012

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has described as “deeply hurtful” allegations levelled against him by former IRA prisoner Dolours Price.

Ms Price claimed Mr Adams sanctioned the 1973 Old Bailey bombing, in which one man died and more than 200 people were injured, in an interview with last week’s Sunday Telegraph.

Mr Adams yesterday described as “untrue” and “false” Ms Price’s allegations.

“What she says is deeply hurtful to me and I’ve a family as well. They’re very, very serious allegations. These aren’t just trite across the floor of the chamber nonsense. These are deeply serious and hurtful comments that she has made.”

Asked why he did not attempt to take legal action against Ms Price, Mr Adams said: “Because I don’t have the money.”

He said it was reprehensible that the Taoiseach should use Ms Price’s allegation in response to an unrelated question from Sinn Féin’s deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald about the row over the siting of primary care centres. “I think he diminishes his office,” he said.

Gerry Adams says he cannot afford to sue over allegations

Gerry Adams says he cannot afford to sue over allegations
He is coming under intensifying pressure to explain his personal involvement in Provo executions after further revelations of his role from a close ally.
National News
Irish Independent
Friday September 28 2012

SINN Fein President Gerry Adams has said he cannot afford to sue over the latest allegations of involvement in IRA executions as he refused to make a statement to the Dail, writes Michael Brennan.

He is coming under intensifying pressure to explain his personal involvement in Provo executions after further revelations of his role from a close ally.

Former IRA bomber Dolours Price described how Mr Adams ordered her to ferry captives, including Ms McConville, across the Border to be murdered.

The claims were raised in the Dail by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fine Gael backbencher Tom Barry called on him to make a statement, but Mr Adams said he he had no case to answer.

Adams says bombing claims false

Adams says bombing claims false
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has denied claims relating to the 1973 Old Bailey bombing
MARY MINIHAN
Irish Times
Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has described as “deeply hurtful” claims levelled against him by former IRA prisoner Dolours Price.

Ms Price has alleged he sanctioned the 1973 Old Bailey bombing in which one man died and more than 200 were injured in an interview with last week’s Sunday Telegraph.

Mr Adams today described the Ms Price’s allegations as “very, very serious” as well as “untrue” and “false”. Asked why he did not attempt to sue Ms Price, Mr Adams said: “Because I don’t have the money.”

The Louth TD said he would not make a statement to the Dáil because he had no case to answer. “I think it’s very disappointing . . . and it’s very disappointing that some sections of the media and other political parties repeat these claims as if they were fact,” he said.

Ms Price also purportedly told the Boston Tapes project she was implicated in the murder of mother of 10 Jean McConville when acting for her then alleged IRA commander Mr Adams – a charge the Sinn Féin leader denies.

However, journalist and author Ed Moloney has repeated his assertion that the McConville disappearance did not figure in the Belfast Project oral history archive at Boston College.

In a statement, Mr Moloney said: “So let me once again put the matter on record, with all the strength and force I can muster: Dolours Price did not mention Jean McConville nor talk about what had happened to her in her interviews for the Belfast Project at Boston College.”

In relation to the McConville case, Mr Adams said: “I’ve no case to answer. Let me say that what happened to Jean McConville was a grave injustice to her and to her family. The IRA has opened up on those issues, came forward on those issues, apologised for all of that.”

Adams rejects Dolours Price claims over IRA

Adams rejects Dolours Price claims over IRA
By Jennifer O’Leary
Dublin reporter
BBC News
27 September 2012

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has rejected allegations made by former IRA bomber Dolours Price about his involvement in the IRA.

Price was jailed for her part in the 1973 Old Bailey bombing, which injured more than 200 people.

In a Sunday Telegraph interview, she made a number of claims about Mr Adams including the allegation he had sanctioned the bombing.

Mr Adams has described the allegations as “false” and “extremely serious”.

“I am not of a mind to trail Dolours Price through the courts,” said Mr Adams on Thursday. “She is unwell.”

“While I have considered the possibility of legal action on occasion, in the past, I have been advised by my own legal advisors that such a course would be financially beyond my means.”

In the US, an interview Ms Price gave as part of a research study called the Belfast Project is the subject of legal action.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is seeking access to tapes of the interviews, held by Boston College, as part of the investigation into the murder of Jean McConville.

Mrs Conville was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972.

In a statement on Wednesday, Ed Moloney the research project’s former director, said Price did not mention murder victim Jean McConville in interviews for Boston College.

“The subject of that unfortunate woman’s disappearance is not even mentioned. Not once,” Mr Moloney said.

Dolours Price & Jean McConville

DOLOURS PRICE & JEAN McCONVILLE
Press Statement
ED MOLONEY
26 September 2012

As is well known by now, a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) investigation in to the disappearance and death of Jean McConville in 1972 led in May last year to the serving of subpoenas by the U.S. Department of Justice on the Belfast Project oral history archive at Boston College. The subpoenas sought, inter alia, the interviews of Dolours Price, a former IRA activist from Belfast.

Lead IRA researcher Dr. Anthony McIntyre and myself have been fighting ever since to have the subpoenas dismissed in the courts on both sides of the Atlantic so as to protect the confidentiality and safety of the interviewees and of Dr McIntyre and to safeguard First Amendment rights in the United States.

Since last weekend there have been two media reports, one in the British-based Sunday Telegraph newspaper, the other on CBS television news, implying or suggesting that admissions by Dolours Price to them of involvement in the McConville disappearance were also made in her interviews for the Belfast Project. It was a similar claim two years ago that this admission had figured in her Belfast project interviews that began this saga of the Boston College subpoenas.

The Sunday Telegraph/CBS reports conflict with and contradict an affidavit I lodged in the Belfast High Court recently saying that the McConville disappearance did not figure in those interviews. I wish to address this matter in this statement and put it to rest for once and for all.

Throughout this stressful and taxing legal and political fight, my priority has always been to safeguard the confidentiality and interests of those who participated. That remains my priority. But I also have the responsibility to clarify and correct errors when they occur.

Quite a few years have passed since Dolours Price was interviewed as part of the Belfast Project at Boston College and it has been during these recent years that her health has deteriorated in a quite alarming way. Without dwelling on the distressing details, which are well known to those familiar with her history and have been published elsewhere, it has been evident to us that her grasp of past events has deteriorated in proportion to her increased susceptibility to outside suggestions.

It has long been our conviction that it was these factors that led in the first place to the serving of the subpoenas in 2011. A newspaper report in February 2010 carried the same erroneous implication that she had talked about the McConville disappearance in the Belfast Project interviews as was carried this week in the Sunday Telegraph and CBS. The first report led directly to the subpoenas, the second set have served to seemingly justify them. But both are wrong.

So let me once again put the matter on record, with all the strength and force I can muster: Dolours Price did not mention Jean McConville nor talk about what had happened to her in her interviews for the Belfast Project at Boston College.

Let me make another couple of points. The hue and cry that has followed the recent media reports demonstrates that the warnings we gave at the outset of this affair that these subpoenas, unless curbed, could have the potential to cause a crisis for the peace process in Northern Ireland were well-founded. Some thought us alarmist at the time but I doubt if many believe that now.

The demands that have been made this week for arrests or resignations have the potential to imperil the survival of the power-sharing administration in Belfast as anyone familiar with Northern Ireland’s politics knows full well. They also have the potential to significantly increase the threat to the lives of those who took part in the project, not least the project’s IRA researcher, Dr. Anthony McIntyre.

That all this is happening is the direct consequence of the failure of political leaders to create a mechanism to deal honestly and without feelings of vengeance with the past, to address the needs of victims in a way that does not imperil the future. The need to rectify that failure is now urgent.

The media reports this week also demonstrate that if the PSNI wishes to investigate this matter there are and have been many other avenues they can pursue without raiding the Boston College archive, infringing American First Amendment rights and placing Dr McIntyre’s life in peril and his family in danger. The Belfast Project archive could and should remain confidential without any prejudice to law enforcement inquiries.

Furthermore it is evident from the recent media reports that Jean McConville was taken into the Irish Republic by the IRA and since her remains were found on the southern side of the Border, it is also reasonable to assume she was killed in that territory. Why then are the authorities in the Irish Republic allowing the PSNI free rein over an investigation to which they arguably have a superior jurisdictional claim? Perhaps a question to this effect could be addressed to the government in Dublin?

- Ed Moloney

Kenny turns up heat on Adams

Kenny turns up heat on Adams
By Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor
Irish Independent
Wednesday September 26 2012

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny last night piled the pressure on Gerry Adams over the latest allegations of the Sinn Fein president’s involvement in IRA executions.

Mr Kenny said it was galling to listen to Sinn Fein talk about transparency in politics in light of the serious accusations made again Mr Adams.

And a Fine Gael TD called on Mr Adams to make a formal statement to the Dail about the claims that he was a senior figure in the Provisional IRA.

Mr Adams is currently away in the United States but Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald became the latest party figure to defend her leader.

The Taoiseach raised the issue of Mr Adams’s IRA past after further allegations of his role from a one-time close ally.

Last weekend, former IRA bomber Dolours Price described how Mr Adams ordered her to ferry captives, including Belfast mother-of-ten Jean McConville, across the Border to be murdered.

She also implicated him in ordering the IRA bombing campaign in Britain in the 1970s.

When Mr Kenny was asked by Ms McDonald about “transparency” in Health Minister Dr James Reilly’s decisions on primary healthcare locations, the Taoiseach pointed to the allegations against Mr Adams.

“It astounds me that you have the gall to stand up in this House in view of the statements made by one of the Price sisters about the leader of your own party,” he said.

“We have the Deputy from Sinn Fein making an articulate point here about clarity and about transparency and she should also add in truth.”

Bombings

The Sinn Fein president is coming under intensifying pressure to explain his IRA past. Fine Gael’s Tom Barry said he wanted to see Mr Adams respond in a statement to the Dail. He asked Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett what procedures were in place to allow such a statement.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has also called for Mr Adams to respond.

Fine Gael’s parliamentary party chairman Charlie Flanagan said the Louth TD had to make a Dail statement this week on the claims that he was personally involved in ordering IRA bombings and executions.

Mr Flanagan said Mr Adams had to answer the charges about the “abduction, murder and disappearance” of Ms McConville.

Defending Mr Adams, Ms McDonald said he was in the United States to attend the Clinton Global Initiative.

She said Mr Adams had “rejected again, as he has consistently rejected”, the allegations made by Ms Price.

Ms McDonald added: “I think it is interesting that Fine Gael would use the statements of an opponent of the peace process in an attempt to undermine the leader of Sinn Fein.

“By her own admission, Dolours Price thinks that the peace process should be undermined, should be destroyed.

“The remarks attributed to Charlie Flanagan are a very obvious attempt by Fine Gael to distract from its own difficulties, in particular the clear dysfunction in the Health Department led by Fine Gael minister James Reilly.”

- Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Adams ‘hiding in Dail’ to avoid questions on Jean McConville

Adams ‘hiding in Dail’ to avoid questions on Jean McConville
National News
By Fionnan Sheahan and Louise Hogan
Irish Independent
Tuesday September 25 2012

GERRY ADAMS was accused last night of “hiding in the Dail” to avoid questions about the IRA’s murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville.

The Sinn Fein president is coming under increasing pressure to explain his personal involvement in Provo executions after further revelations of his role from a close ally.

Former IRA bomber Dolours Price described how Mr Adams ordered her to ferry captives, including Ms McConville, across the Border to be murdered.

Ms McConville was the most notorious of the cases of the so-called Disappeared, victims murdered by the IRA and whose bodies were then hidden south of the Border.

Ms McConville’s son-in-law, Seamus McKendry, said the family always believed Mr Adams was implicated.

“He is a member of Dail Eireann. He can’t just hide away down there saying ‘I’m Mr Respectable now’. He has a lot of questions to answer,” he said.

Mr McKendry repeated his call for Mr Adams to be arrested over the allegations and evidence gathered.

He said Ms Price’s version of events were not a surprise and tallied with his own information on Mr Adams’s role.

“I have been told from day one that Gerry Adams was involved. I don’t doubt it,” he said.

“I don’t want him hiding under the mantle of being a member of the Dail,” he added.

Ms Price’s allegations back up the claim of another former IRA member, Brendan ‘Darkie’ Hughes, implicating Mr Adams in Ms McConville’s murder.

Mr Adams continually denies being a member of the IRA and also rejects allegations he was involved in Ms McConville’s murder.

Truth

But he is also coming under increasing political pressure to explain his IRA role.

Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Charlie Flanagan said Mr Adams had to make a Dail statement this week on the fresh claims he was personally involved in IRA bombings and executions.

Mr Flanagan said he had to answer the charges the “abduction, murder and disappearance” of Ms McConville.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has rejected calls from the DUP for the Government to apologise for IRA atrocities.

But he did suggest the DUP speak directly to its partners in the current Northern Ireland government.

“It could ask First Minister Martin McGuinness to tell the truth of the IRA under his command.

“It could demand that Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams account for his tenure on the Army Council of the IRA and ask him to answer the charges made by Brendan Hughes regarding the abduction, murder and disappearance of the body of Jean McConville,” he said.

Ms Price linked Mr Adams directly to the murder of Ms McConville and said it was normal for the Sinn Fein leader to order her to drive victims south of the Border.

“The hardest thing I ever did was drive those people away and deliver them to a group of people across the border. I never knew for sure their ultimate end.

“I was simply told by Gerry Adams to take the people away, a couple of lads or whatever. Some I knew their fate, some I didn’t,” she said in an interview at the weekend.

- Fionnan Sheahan and Louise Hogan

Adams rejects claim he sanctioned 1973 Old Bailey bombing

Adams rejects claim he sanctioned 1973 Old Bailey bombing
GERRY MORIARTY, Northern Editor
Irish Times
Monday, September 24, 2012

SINN FÉIN president and Louth TD Gerry Adams has rejected claims by former IRA prisoner Dolours Price that he sanctioned the Old Bailey bombing in which one man died and more than 200 were injured.

Mr Adams denied claims made by Ms Price that he was a central figure in an IRA decision in the early 1970s to launch a bombing campaign in Britain.

Ms Price, who was convicted along with her sister Marian and other IRA members of the 1973 Old Bailey bombing, claimed in an interview in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph that the London bombing campaign was approved by Mr Adams.

She said the idea to bomb London was hers and that Mr Adams was her officer commanding (OC) at the time. “I was convinced that a short, sharp shock, an incursion into the heart of the empire, would be more effective than 20 car bombs in any part of the North of Ireland,” she told the newspaper.

She said the plan was presented to Mr Adams and discussed and agreed by IRA commanders. She said Mr Adams then convened a meeting to find volunteers.

“Adams started talking and said it was a big, dangerous operation,” said Ms Price. “He said: ‘This could be a hanging job.’ He said: ‘If anyone doesn’t want to go they should up and leave now through the back door at 10-minute intervals.’ The ones that were left were the ones that went. I was left organising it, to be the OC of the whole shebang.”

In a statement Mr Adams responded, rejecting her claims. “I reject again, as I have consistently rejected, the allegations contained in the Sunday Telegraph interview.”

A party spokesman added that Mr Adams had consistently denied that he was in the IRA and by extension denied allegations by Ms Price.

“Dolours Price is not very friendly towards Sinn Féin these days; she is an anti-peace process republican,” the spokesman said.

More than 200 people were injured in the Old Bailey bombing, some seriously. One man died from a heart attack.

Members of the IRA unit convicted of the Old Bailey bombing, including Dolours and Marian Price, went on hunger strike, which involved force feeding and lasted more than 200 days. The prisoners were repatriated to serve their sentences in Northern Ireland.

The licence releasing Marian Price from her Old Bailey conviction was revoked by former Northern secretary Owen Paterson in May last year and she was returned to prison because of alleged dissident republican activity. On medical recommendation she was transferred from Maghaberry Prison to Hydebank Prison in Belfast in February this year and then in June was moved to a Belfast hospital under guard and still in custody.