In a "60 Minutes" interview on Sunday, notorious Irish politician Gerry Adams denies decades-old allegations that he was involved in the shocking murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville.
Adams, the president of the Sinn Fein party and a member of the Republic of Ireland parliament, claimed that he never gave orders to kill McConville and he was not a leader of the Irish Republican Army, which was linked to a series of deadly bombings in England during the last century.
McConville, a widow, disappeared in 1972 and was believed to have been killed by the Catholic IRA for collaborating with the British, the group's avowed enemy along with Protestants who backed British rule in Northern Ireland. Her body, with a bullet hole in its skull, was found in 2003.
Belfast-based Adams, who is seen as a future prime minister of the British province, told CBS newsman Scott Pelley that he never pulled a trigger, ordered a murder or set off a bomb during the protracted civil war in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants.
"I don't disassociate myself from the IRA," he says. "I think the IRA was a legitimate response to what was happening here. I was not a member of the IRA."
But Helen McKendry, one of the McConville children orphaned in 1972, told Pelley, "he's a liar. I would like Gerry Adams to stand up and admit he played a part. This man has blood on his hands and I want him to pay for what he did."
The charges that he killed McConville heated up a few years ago when researchers at Boston College
released taped excerpts from interviews with former Irish militants, one of whom directly accused Adams of giving the order to kill McConville.
Adams says after he called the police last year when he heard about the tapes, he was arrested and held for four days. Sinn Fein was viewed as the political wing of the IRA.
"I was sick, sore and tired of a tsunami of stories based upon these tapes linking me to Mrs. McConville's death," Adams says. "So I contacted the police."
In 1998, aided by Adams, the Protestant majority reached a tenuous "Good Friday" agreement with the Catholic minority to share power. Nevertheless, walls still separate neighborhoods and most people use shops and firms owned by people with similar religious affiliation, according to Pelley.
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