Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 18:15 UK

Adams denies role in 1970s murder of Jean McConville

Jean McConville was abducted and murdered in 1972
Jean McConville was abducted and murdered in 1972

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams has spoken publicly for the first time on allegations about his role in the Troubles contained in a new book.

The book by Ed Moloney is based on interviews with the late Brendan Hughes, a leading member of the IRA.

In the book, Mr Hughes claims Mr Adams ordered the murder of west Belfast woman Jean McConville in 1972.

Mr Adams said the allegations were "offensive, malicious insinuations, untruths and deeply annoying".

He also denied being in the IRA.

On Monday, Mr Adams denied having "any hand or part in the killing and disappearing" of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville.

Helen McKendry, one of Mrs McConville's daughters, has said she plans a civil action against Mr Adams over his alleged role in her mother's murder.

Mr Adams has consistently denied claims that he was involved in the murder of Mrs McConville.

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

The allegations against Mr Adams, and others, were made in a series of interviews Mr Hughes gave to a researcher for Boston College in 2001 and 2002. He spoke on condition that the material would not be published until after his death.

Mrs McConville lived with her children in Belfast in the early 1970s.

She was taken from her Divis home by IRA members after being accused of being an informer. She was interrogated, shot and secretly buried in County Louth in the Republic of Ireland.

Her family have rejected claims that she was an informer. In 2006 an investigation by Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan found no evidence that Mrs McConville had passed information to the security forces.

Helen McKendry
Helen McKendry plans to take legal action against Gerry Adams

In the book, extracts of which were published in the Sunday Times, Mr Hughes said that an Army transmitter was removed from her flat by an IRA team.

He said he helped in her interrogation and she admitted she was working for the British Army.

But because she was a mother and a widow, she was given a warning.

However, a second transmitter was later found and she was taken away to be killed.

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