Victim’s kids hope Adams charged in Belfast murder

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FILE – In this Thursday Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Helen McKendry holds a family photograph showing her mother Jean McConcille, at home in Killyleagh, Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. According to all authoritative histories of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Adams served as an IRA commander for decades, but he has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

FILE – In this Thursday Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Helen McKendry holds a family photograph showing her mother Jean McConcille, at home in Killyleagh, Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. According to all authoritative histories of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Adams served as an IRA commander for decades, but he has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

Michael McConville, the son of Jean McConville who was murdered by the IRA, speaks to the media at the Wave Trauma centre in Belfast, Thursday, May, 1, 2014. Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is still being questioned by police at Antrim police station after being arrested late Wednesday in connection with the murder of Jean McConville. (AP Photo)

FILE- In this Monday, May 31, 1999 file photo, Helen McHendry and husband Seamus find the agonizing wait for the recovery of Helen’s mother all too much as Irish police continue to search for the body of her mother, Jean Mc Conville, in Dundalk, Irish Republic. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. According to all authoritative histories of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Adams served as an IRA commander for decades, but he has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

FILE – In this Tuesday Feb. 19, 2008 file photo, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, right, carries the coffin of senior IRA commander Brendan Hughes, in west Belfast, Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow. Adams, 65, confirmed his own arrest in a prepared statement and described it as a voluntary, prearranged interview. Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy. Adams was implicated in the killing by two IRA veterans, who gave taped interviews to researchers for a Boston College history archive on the four-decade Northern Ireland conflict. Belfast police waged a two-year legal fight in the United States to acquire the interviews, parts of which already were published after the 2008 death of one IRA interviewee, Brendan Hughes. Boston College immediately handed over the Hughes tapes. The college and researchers fought unsuccessfully to avoid handover tapes of the second IRA interviewee, Dolours Price, who died last year. Both Hughes and Price agreed to be interviewed on condition that their contents were kept confidential until their deaths. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

The heavily fortified police station in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Thursday, May, 1 2014. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been arrested and is being questioned at Antrim police station about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

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BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — For most of her life, Helen McKendry has demanded that Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams come clean about his alleged leadership role in the Irish Republican Army — and about the outlawed group’s abduction, slaying and secret burial of her mother in 1972.

As Adams spends a second day being interrogated by detectives over the unsolved crime, McKendry fears her day of justice will never come. She was one of 10 children left orphaned by her widowed 37-year-old mother’s slaying.

“I’m hoping against hope that he doesn’t walk out free,” McKendry told The Associated Press. “Everybody, the dogs in the street, knew he was the top IRA man in Belfast at that time.”

Northern Ireland has met news of Adams’ arrest with a mixture of world-weary resignation and cynicism. Adams’ fans and foes alike agree on this much: He’s too important a figure in the peace process to go to jail, and he’s never going to talk honestly about his past command positions in the Provisional IRA. The underground army killed nearly 1,800 people — including scores of Catholic civilians and IRA members branded spies and informers — before calling a 1997 cease-fire so Sinn Fein

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