Pádraig MacLochlainn, Sinn Féin TD for Donegal North East, has said there are elements within the Police Service of Northern Ireland who are “resentful” of a new beginning “to a fair and just policing service that is fair to all”.
Deputy MacLochlainn was speaking in relation to the arrest of Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, TD, who was released on Sunday after four days of questioning by the PSNI over the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.
Mr. Adams has said that his questioning was based on old newspaper articles, books and taped interviews held at Boston College, interviews Deputy MacLochlainn said had been “totally discredited”. He said people interviewed were “vitriolic opponents of the peace process and Gerry Adams personally”.
The deputy said Martin McGuinness, deputy first minister of the north, had been told by senior PSNI personnel whom Mr. McGuinness described as “reformers, as people who embraced change”, that there were “dark” forces within the PSNI. Sinn Féin has “serious questions” about Mr. Adams’ arrest, coming just weeks before important local and European elections, “and in the fullness of time we might have them answered”, the deputy said.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn and Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin MLA, had gone to the Antrim Police Station to see Mr. Adams on Sunday evening, where they learned he was to be released. Deputy MacLochlainn praised the calm leadership he said Mr. Adams showed at the news conference. Deputy MacLochlainn said: “We support the PSNI. We are committed absolutely to a new beginning to policing, to civic policing, to fair policing for everybody, and we will continue to fight for that and will continue to challenge elements of that police force who are resisting change.”
The deputy called the murder of Mrs. McConville “one of the blackest days in the history of republicanism” and said he was absolutely certain Mr. Adams had no “hand, act or part in it”.