Riot police preceded the convoy carrying Gerry Adams away from the back of the Antrim police station this evening.
A hostile loyalist crowd, gathering from early afternoon, staged a sit-down protest at the front of the station.
After four days of questioning and 33 police interviews, the Sinn Fein President returned to West Belfast to hold a press conference in front of supporters.
Speaking initially in Irish, he attacked the basis for his detention, and criticised the police handling of his arrest. He once again categorically denied any involvement in the abduction and murder of Jean McConville.
Mrs McConville was the sole carer for her ten children when she was taken away and executed by the IRA in 1972.They thought, wrongly, that she had been passing information to the security forces.
It was thirty years before her body was discovered.
This evening her family called for the investigation to be handled by an outside police force.
During Gerry Adams detention at Antrim Police station Sinn Fein accused the PSNI of political policing.In turn Unionists accused Sinn Fein of bully boy tactics against the police.
For now the matter is out of their hands, a file has been sent to the Public
The Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness spoke of 'dark forces' within the police. The First Minister hit back accusin Sinn Fein of 'bullyboy tactics'.
Gerry Adams may no longer be a Northern politician, but his arrest has still caused ructions across Northern Ireland.