‘I’m suing Adams for the truth — it is not about money’

‘I’m suing Adams for the truth — it is not about money’
By Sam Smyth
Irish Independent
Tuesday March 30 2010

THE daughter of a widowed mother-of-10 murdered by the Provisional IRA in Belfast insists she is not suing Gerry Adams for money.

“It is for my mother,” said Helen McKendry, who plans to take a civil action against Gerry Adams following the publishing of a book, claiming the Sinn Fein president ordered the killing of Jean McConville.

Ms McKendry was speaking yesterday after a statement from Mr Adams said he “rejected absolutely” any accusation he had a role in Mrs McConville’s murder in 1972.

“It’s not for the money, it is for the truth,” said Ms McKendry, speaking about her legal action. “I want to get to the real truth. Gerry Adams has to come out and tell people the truth.”

In his earlier statement, Mr Adams also rejected the other allegations made against him in the book ‘Voices From The Grave’.

“The issue of the ‘disappeared’ is a terrible legacy of the conflict,” said Mr Adams. “A grievous wrong has been done to these families.”

Mr Adams went on to say that republicans had been working with the commission set up by the authorities in Northern Ireland to find the remains of the “disappeared”.

“The proposal to do this was initiated by me after I was approached by some of the families involved,” said Mr Adams.

In the book, written by Ed Moloney, Mr Adams is accused of ordering Mrs McConville’s death — among other atrocities including the Bloody Friday bombings — when he was IRA commander in Belfast.

Sinn Fein dismissed the book, saying that the allegations were not new and had been consistently denied by Mr Adams.

Author Ed Moloney said yesterday that it made him angry when leading republicans denied their former roles in the IRA.

“It’s pretty disappointing that every time something like this happens, the accusation is made that there is an agenda-driven effort going on here but that is just not the case,” said Mr Moloney.


The allegation of Mr Adams’s involvement in the murder of Mrs McConville has been circulating for years but the claim that he ordered it is new, said Derry socialist Eamon McCann.

“This is not a wild allegation by a bitter opponent,” said Mr McCann, referring to the late Brendan ‘Darkie’ Hughes, the former IRA leader who revealed Mr Adams’s role before he died in 2008.

“They (Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams) are making a big mistake by dismissing it (the accusation) as coming from an alcoholic with a damaged personality.

“There are many people seriously messed up by the cruelty and the futility of what they did,” said Mr McCann about former republican activists.

“If they did it for a great cause, they might be able to live with it.”

There was a muted response to the allegations about Mr Adams, both in the media and from other political parties in the North.

However, some Northern politicians last night questioned if the revelations would be damaging to Sinn Fein in the Westminster election, which is expected to take place in five weeks’ time.

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‘PSNI must launch probe into Adams’

‘PSNI must launch probe into Adams’
News Letter
Published on Tuesday 30 March 2010 12:32

POLICE must investigate a dead man’s claim that Gerry Adams authorised the abduction of Jean McConville, says a former leading PSNI detective.

Retired Detective Chief Superintendent Norman Baxter, who led the investigation into the Omagh bomb, called on Chief Constable Matt Baggott to appoint a senior detective to review the RUC investigation into the west Belfast mother-of-ten’s murder in 1972.

Mr Baxter says that Adams’ former friend Brendan Hughes’ allegations may provide evidence which police could use to build a case for a criminal case.

Mrs McConville’s daughter is preparing to sue Mr Adams through the civil courts.

Mr Baxter, who was head of the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch until late 2008, said that the PSNI should “urgently” investigate the murder.

THE unfolding story of the life and death of Jean McConville is spine-chilling for anyone with a sense of humanity.

She was a Protestant from east Belfast who married a Roman Catholic in an era when such a union led to isolation and abandonment within her own community.

This was evidenced by the sectarian attack on her home which saw the McConville family relocate to the Divis Flats. Having experienced this turmoil she was widowed in 1971, aged 37, with 10 children.

How much more suffering could this beleaguered family be expected to endure?

We now know the answer.

If we are to believe the confession of the self-proclaimed Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes, somewhere a group of self-appointed rulers of darkness decided to abduct, execute and hide the earthly remains of Jean McConville.

Hughes names Gerry Adams as directing the execution of this defenceless widow. An easy decision for these “heroes” of Irish republicanism.

But they had a problem: not one of conscience but rather that the population could not be trusted to accept their judgment that a family of 10 children should be left orphaned.

So frightened that this evil murder would expose their hypocrisy as “defenders of the people”, they took Jean McConville and buried her.

Ten children were left under the care of the oldest teenage sister for five weeks before the family was split up and scattered by social services. No one to help them in their hour of need. No one told them where their mother was – if she was dead or where she was buried.

Abandoned by the community in which they had sought refuge. Complete and total inhumanity by the IRA.

Robbed of a mother with their childhood stolen, the McConville family suffered collective and physiological abuse.

Their human rights were violated at every level by IRA leaders, who like wolves in sheep’s clothing sought to convince people that they were opposing repression.

The abduction and death of Jean McConville is an indictment on the Irish republican cause and its leadership. Faceless men now exposed as tribal gods, who could abuse women and children and terminate human life at a whim.

In the months leading up to Jean McConville’s murder at least 14 women were abducted from their homes, beaten and humiliated by having their heads shaved and being “tarred and feathered”. The rapes and child sexual abuse should not be forgotten in this mix of social intimidation.

Sinn Fein and the IRA have a record of human rights abuse that would equal some Nazi units in the Second World War; and yet they currently wear the duplicitous clothes of human rights defenders with such ease.

What is even more sickening is that Gerry Adams had the audacity to parade himself on Channel 4 to reflect on Christianity.

What Christian mercy was shown to this widow or her children?

Where was God’s mercy on that dark December night in 1972 when the words of death slipped easily from the lips from a demon of death?

I wonder does the face of Jean McConville linger?

And yet we should not seek to place all the burden of guilt on one leader.

Sinn Fein and the IRA as an organisation will not acknowledge that Jean McConville was murdered. Even in death she is denied the recognition that her life was unlawfully taken.

Mitchell McLaughlin, when Sinn Fein party chairman, pronounced in 2005 that the death of Jean McConville was not a criminal act.

At this stage, when policing and justice is about to be devolved, the people of Northern Ireland should now be told is this still the Sinn Fein position?

Do they recognise the criminality of IRA actions?

Gerry Adams and the Sinn Fein leadership should answer the following question: Do they believe that the abduction and execution of a defenceless widow with 10 children is murder?

The Sinn Fein leadership should be asked to explain: What was the charge that justified her death?

Where was the trial? Who was the judge?

The IRA should not be allowed to hide behind weasel words and vague accusations that Jean McConville was working as an informer with the British Army.

They should be reminded that in 2006, Baroness O’Loan confirmed that “there was no evidence that Jean McConville gave information to the police, military or the security service”.

It seemed that even Hughes was lied to to justify the execution of Jean McConville.

Although Brendan Hughes is now dead, his confession, which was recorded, may provide evidence which could lead the police to build a case for criminal proceedings.

The Chief Constable should now appoint a senior detective to review the investigation into the murder of Jean McConville. Such an investigation should be conducted as a matter of urgency.

The McConville family, like so many other victims, deserve justice.

Helen McKendry should not be left in isolation to seek justice for her mother through civil proceedings.

Civic society and democratic politicians should come together in a campaign to financially and morally support the McConville family.

Jean McConville may have been a poor defenceless widow, abducted, tormented and done to death; but she was a human being and a living soul.

The light of truth will expose the guilty – it should be explored and not extinguished.

Lies cannot hide the truth.

Norman Baxter is a retired PSNI detective chief superintendent

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I’LL SUE ADAMS; Daughter of Disappeared Jean to take case after claims SF chief ordered mum’s murder

I’LL SUE ADAMS; Daughter of Disappeared Jean to take case after claims SF chief ordered mum’s murder
The Mirror (London)
Mar 29, 2010

DISAPPEARED victim Jean McConville’s daughter is to sue Gerry Adams after claims he ordered her abduction and murder.

Helen McKendry, who was just 14 when her mother was snatched by an IRA unit in West Belfast in 1972, is taking a civil action against the Sinn Fein leader.

The move comes after late IRA chief Brendan “Darkie” Hughes said Adams sanctioned mother-of-10 Jean’s execution and secret burial.

Hughes, who spoke out in 2001, added: “There is only one man gave the order for that woman to be executed. That man is now head of Sinn Fein.”

ADAMS ‘GAVE ORDER’ TO ABDUCT MUM; Late ‘Darkie’ Hughes leaves record
The Mirror (London)
Mar 29, 2010

THE daughter of disappeared victim Jean McConville is planning to sue Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, alleging he gave the order for her abduction, murder and secret burial.

Helen McKendry, who was just 14 when her mother was “disappeared” by an IRA unit, is set to take a civil action and pursue the republican chief through the courts.

Her proposed legal action comes after a former friend, the late IRA chief Brendan “Darkie” Hughes, turned whistleblower from the grave claiming Adams as Belfast’s IRA boss at the time gave the order to kill and “disappear” mother-of-10 Jean.

Ex-IRA chief Hughes said: “There is only one man who gave the order for that woman to be executed. That man is now head of Sinn Fein. I did not give the order to murder that woman – he did.”

Hughes also claimed the West Belfast MP gave the order for the Provos to hang one of its own members in the Maze Prison in June 1973 after the 22-year-old cracked under police interrogation.

He also boasted about rigging Adams’ election campaign for the West Belfast seat in 1987 and again in the council elections of 1989 stealing a “massive” numbers of votes by using the names of dead people and babies.

The sensational allegations were made by Hughes in an explosive interview to a Boston researcher in 2001 and 2002 – given on the condition it would not be printed until after his death, which occurred in 2008.

The bombshell revelations are now part of a new book Voices From The Grave – Two Men’s War in Ireland by Ed Moloney, which also contains interviews with the late PUP leader and U V F boss David Irvine. Hughes said: “I find it difficult to come to terms [with] the fact that this man [Gerry Adams] has turned his back on everything that we ever did.

“I never carried out a major [IRA] operation without the OK or the order from Gerry. And for him to sit in his plush office in Westminster or Stormont and deny it, I mean, it’s like Hitler denying there was ever a Holocaust.”

Hughes claimed an IRA unit found an army transmitter in Ms McConville’s flat which led to her murder by the IRA.

She was buried in an unmarked grave in Co Louth which went undiscovered until 2003. But her family insists the widow was not an informer and that she was shot for going to the aid of an injured soldier.

Helen McKendry’s husband Seamus said yesterday: “Helen is actively pursuing a civil action against Gerry Adams accusing him publicly of the role he played in Jean’s death.

“That might wipe the smile off his face, it might cost him a couple of his houses.”

On the allegations in the book Mr McKendry said: “It’s nothing new. I’ve personally spoken to much more senior members of the IRA than Darkie Hughes.

“That Gerry Adams was the Belfast commander of the IRA in the early 70s is known, he can deny it to the cows come home, but everyone knows it.”

However, he rubbished Hughes’ claims the mother of 10 was killed because she was an informer.

He added: “I’ve spoken to people that move in those circles and they said that at that time the only transmitter that could have been used would have had to have been about the size of a fridge. The Divis flats were like a concrete cage, it was very difficult to transmit out of it. For Jean to hide a transm i t t e r that Helen and eight other children wouldn’t find – impossible. These kids found their Christmas presents three months before Christmas.

“Gerry Adams did sign the paper for her death. It’s about time he admits his role in it. He should hang his head in shame. At least Martin McGuinness admitted what he has done.

“Adams is only interested in protecting his own lie.

“Helen would like to see him strung out for it [the killing of her mother].

“He sat face-to-face with us around 1995 and told us he was glad he was in prison at the time of Jean’s death. That was lies – we found out he had been on the run in Dublin.

“Even his own supporters have lost respect.”

Hughes also claims his former friend was involved in covering up the death of Patrick Crawford as a suicide.

Hughes said: “He broke during interrogation and gave intelligence and information to his interrogators.

He was executed by the IRA in the prison, he was hanged.

“And the order was given by Gerry Adams.”

Hughes claimed he was part of an IRA vote-stealing scam that catapulted his then friend to power.

He said: “I was the main person in charge of personation…I had loads of dead people, babies’ names, babies who weren’t born, babies who were in the graveyard – they all voted.”

But in another damning allegation, Hughes accuses the IRA leadership of colluding with security forces to get rid of the hawks as the organisation tried to move towards peace.

He cited the IRA operation in Loughgall, Co Armagh, in May 1987, when eight members were killed by the SAS.

He said: “There’s a possibility there was collusion there. I don’t know – it may be fair, it may be unfair.”

A Sinn Fein spokesman denied the allegations saying: “Gerry Adams has consistently denied these. In the last years of his life Brendan Hughes was very ill and he publicly disagreed with the strategy being pursued by republicans.”

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Daughter of McConville to sue Adams over murder

Daughter of McConville to sue Adams over murder
Northern Editor
Irish Times

THE DAUGHTER of Jean McConville is planning to take a civil case against Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams over the IRA murder of her mother.

Helen McKendry said allegations in a book by journalist Ed Moloney that Mr Adams ordered the murder and disappearance of the body of Jean McConville merely reinforced what she and other members of her family had always believed. “I am now going to take a civil case against Gerry Adams. We are seeking legal advice on how to move forward . . .

“I don’t want money from Adams, I want him to admit that he ordered my mother’s murder, I just want him to tell the truth,” said Ms McKendry yesterday.

Ms McKendry said that the claims in Moloney’s book, Voices from the Grave, released today, contained nothing new but nonetheless served to bolster her conviction that Mr Adams was deeply implicated in her mother’s killing.

She hoped the book would also strengthen the civil case she was planning to take against the Sinn Féin president.

This book’s claim of Mr Adams’s involvement in the killing of Jean McConville in December 1972 is made posthumously by Brendan “The Dark” Hughes, a senior IRA figure and close friend of Mr Adams, until they became estranged in the 1990s.

Hughes, who died in 2008, made the allegations in a series of interviews he gave to Boston College in 2001 and 2002, and from which Moloney has drawn. Hughes gave the interviews on condition that the material would not be released until after his death.

Hughes claimed Ms McConville, a mother of 10 children, was interrogated and warned by the IRA after a British army transmitter was discovered in her Divis Flats home in west Belfast. He claimed that despite this warning a short time afterwards another transmitter was found and it was then decided by the IRA that she would be murdered as an informer.

In an extract from the book in yesterday’s Sunday Times , Hughes said he knew Ms McConville was to be “executed”.

He also claimed that there was a debate over whether her body should be left on a street in west Belfast or “disappeared”. Her body was accidentally discovered on Shelling Hill Beach in Co Louth in August 2003.

“There was only one man who gave the order for that woman to be executed,” said Mr Hughes. “That man is now the head of Sinn Féin. I did not give the order to execute that woman – he did. And yet he went to see her kids to promise an investigation into her death.”

“I never carried out a major operation without the okay or the order from Gerry . And for him to sit in his plush office in Westminster or Stormont or wherever and deny it, I mean it’s like Hitler denying that there was ever a Holocaust,” he added.

Mr Adams has repeatedly denied the allegations. “The allegations contained in the Sunday Times are not new,” said a party spokesman. “Gerry Adams has consistently denied these. In the last years of his life Brendan Hughes was very ill and he publicly disagreed with the strategy being pursued by republicans.”

Helen McKendry again rejected the allegation that her mother, a Protestant who converted to Catholicism, was an informer.

“Do you think us 10 children wouldn’t have come across a transmitter in the flat; how come we didn’t find it; there was no transmitter. My mother was murdered because she went to comfort a British soldier on the street who was shot by the IRA,” she said.

Her father Arthur had died that January in 1972, she added. “After our mother disappeared we all managed to stay together for six weeks but then we were all split up into different children’s homes.”

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