29/03/2010

Adams On Rack Over IRA

Voices from the grave have come back to haunt one of Ireland's top republican politicians.

The Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is facing renewed allegations that he was "in the IRA" with the latest claims made by a senior republican Brendan 'Darkie' Hughes in interviews with US academics carried out before he died in 2008.

Sinn Fein and Mr Adams have issued denials that he was ever an IRA member and said Mr Hughes had been a noted critic of the party.

The interviews with Mr Hughes are carried in a new book on the Troubles serialised in the Sunday Times in which the deceased IRA member, who became a critic of Sinn Fein's political strategy, is quoted recalling his earlier role in the republican movement.

But Sinn Fein said its leader had already denied the claims that Mr Adams was an IRA leader in Belfast at the time of the infamous republican murder of 'disappeared' mother-of-10 Jean McConville.

"The allegations contained in the Sunday Times are not new," said a party spokesperson.

Brendan Hughes was a high-ranking member of the IRA at the height of the Troubles.

In the new book Voices from the Grave by journalist Ed Moloney, Mr Hughes reveals his own links to the IRA murder and burial of Ms McConville in 1972, but also claims Mr Adams was a senior IRA figure at the time.

Mr Maloney said that what Brendan Hughes had done, in giving the interviews was to tell "the unvarnished truth" which was "unprecedented in IRA annals".

The IRA has admitted killing and burying Jean McConville, whose body was only found in 2003.

The book also said that Adams was the second-in-command of the IRA in Belfast when the terrorists set off multiple bombs around the city on what came to be known as Bloody Friday.

In just 75 minutes of violence, nine people were dead and some 130 more were mutilated, injured and mentally scarred by what they had witnessed.

The IRA's bombing of the city caused widespread chaos and stretched the security forces to the limit.

It was widely recognised as being in direct retaliation for the Bloody Sunday shootings in Londonderry which are now the subject of a long-drawn out, multi-million pound Public Inquiry.

See: Bloody Sunday Report Imminent

See: Jean McConville remains to be released to family

(BmCC/GK)

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