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  • 2 May 2014, 4:29

Secret Boston Tapes Led To Gerry Adams Arrest

Gerry Adams' arrest over the murder of widowed mother of 10 Jean McConville stems from allegations made by republicans in interviews they gave to a US college.

Back in 2001, Boston College launched an oral history project.

Academics, historians and journalists decided to record interviews with people who had been very actively involved in the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

These included former paramilitaries, both republican and loyalist, about their roles in the 40 years of violence.

They were assured the information they divulged would not be made public until after their deaths.

But when one of the interviewees, former IRA commander in Belfast Brendan Hughes, died in 2008 it emerged he had alleged Mr Adams was a senior IRA leader during the Troubles and had ordered Mrs McConville's killing.

It also emerged Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price, who died last year, had made similar allegations about the Sinn Fein President.

Sky's Ireland Correspondent David Blevins said: "It's worth pointing out that Brendan Hughes and Dolours Price had both fallen out with Gerry Adams."

It was on the basis of what they claimed during those Boston College interviews that police officers from Northern Ireland went to court in the US and gained access to the collection of tapes last year.

Mr Adams has long denied allegations that he had a role in ordering the notorious murder.

Police have questioned several people at Antrim police station - where Mr Adams is currently being questioned - since Boston College was ordered to hand over the taped interviews.

They charged one man in March, veteran republican Ivor Bell, 77, from Ramoan Gardens in the Andersonstown district of west Belfast, with aiding and abetting the murder - a count he denies.

Mrs McConville - who would have turned 80 next week - was kidnapped in front of her children in Belfast in 1972.

She was accused of being a spy and passing information to the British Army.

The 37-year-old was later shot dead and shebecame one of the so-called "disappeared" of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Her body was not found for more than 30 years.

Shortly before his arrest on Wednesday night Mr Adams insisted he was "innocent of any part" in the killing.

The 65-year-old former MP for West Belfast now represents County Louth in the Irish parliament.

A Boston College spokesman said: "We are not privy to the actions of the Police Services of Northern Ireland and have had no involvement in the matter since the US Courts issued the order to remand portions of the archived interviews last year. As a result, it would be inappropriate to comment on this issue."

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