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McConville son: Adams threatened me with a 'backlash'

The son of murdered Jean McConville has said Gerry Adams threatened him with a "backlash" if he released the names of those he believed were responsible.

Michael McConville has said he along with his family will continue to fight for justice after the Sinn Fein president was freed after questioning, but has maintained he could be shot if he disclosed the identities of suspects to police.

Michael McConville stands by a picture of his mother. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mr Adams, 65, was released after four days of questioning about the notorious 1972 killing of the mother-of-10 and other alleged links with the IRA, he vehemently rejected the allegations.

More: McConville son: Adams 'backlash threat' if IRA names released

Mr McConville told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Gerry Adams says to me 'Michael, you are getting a letter of support from the republican people'. He says 'if you release the names I hope you are ready for the backlash'.

"I took it as a threat."

Former NI Sec warns against 'going back to the past'

Northern Ireland should be wary of investigating historic cases of murder which took place during The Troubles as "they are in the past" and the public does not want "to go back to that".

Labour's Peter Hain told Good Morning Britain he did not think digging up the past would bring justice or closure to the victim's families.

"I do not think that going back 40 and more years in this fashion is actually going to take Northern Ireland forward, nor do I think, in the vast majority of unsolved cases, it will bring any sense of justice to victims."

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Government maintain support for NI police

The Government is "confident" authoritative institutions in Northern Ireland, like the police, are independent.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, the Northern Ireland Secretary dismissed calls from the son of disappeared Jean McConville to have her murder investigated by an independent body.

Theresa Villiers explained: "I am confident that the current institutions in Northern Ireland, the police service of Northern Ireland, and other institutions are independent. They will make fair and balanced decisions on this case, as they do in all others."

Gerry Adams returns to the campaign trail

A mural of Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams is painted on a wall on the Falls Road, Belfast. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams will refocus on election campaigning today as the political fall-out from his release from police custody continues to reverberate around Stormont and beyond.

The republican party is holding an European election rally in Belfast tonight, with a similar event planned in Dublin tomorrow, as Mr Adams resumes the canvassing activities he claims his detention over the 1972 murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville was designed to thwart.

Gerry Adams defiant after release from custody

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was defiant following his release from custody tonight, again rejecting allegations made by former republican colleagues that he ordered the abduction and killing of mother-of-ten Jean McConville.

Despite his criticism of the manner in which he was arrested, he reiterated his support for the PSNI and the peace process.

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Adams: I want to make it clear I support the PSNI

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said he supports the PSNI, though he criticised the timing and duration of his arrest, and said elements within the police, "the old guard" who are against change, "cannot win".

I want to make it clear I support the PSNI. I will continue to work with others to make it a genuinely civic service. The old guard, which is against change, (....) they cannot win.

The dark side of the British system cannot be allowed to deny anyone, Catholic, Protestant or dissenter, our entitlement to a rights-based, citizen-centred society, as set out in the Good Friday Agreement.

I am an Irish republican, I want to live in a peaceful Ireland, based on equality. I have never dissociated myself from the IRA and I never will. But I am glad that I and others have created a peaceful and democratic way forward for everyone.

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PSNI pass Adams decision to the PPS

The PSNI have passed the difficult decision of whether or not to charge Gerry Adams to the Public Prosecution Service. Already there are sharp divisions within the Stormont Government over his arrest.

Gerry Adams. Credit: ITV News

The Deputy First Minister talks of "dark forces" within the police. The First Minister hits back accusing Sinn Fein of 'bullyboy tactics' towards the police.

Gerry Adams may no longer be a Northern politician.

But his arrest here has still caused ructions.

Adams: Peace needs to be built with determination

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been speaking following his release from custody. Criticising the timing of his arrest, he stressed that he first contacted the police more than two months ago.

The people of this island have carved out a dispensation, and whilst the past needs to be dealt with, there can be no going back. Peace needs to be built with determination and a consistent focus.

There are sinister elements who are against the change that Sinn Fein and others are against making.

Gerry Adams: Arrest result of malicious campaign

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has thanked his supporters for their solidarity whilst he was in custody.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.

Speaking from the Balmoral Hotel, he said the arrest was a result of a "sustained, malicious, untruthful and sinister campaign" against him, through the media, timed to coincide with important EU elections.

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