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Rep. Neal, Key To Irish Peace, On Gerry Adams Arrest

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal, a Democrat who has worked for years on the Irish peace process, released the following statement about this week's arrest of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

"Five weeks ago, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams volunteered to meet with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to discuss the unproven allegation that he was involved in the abduction, killing and burial of Jean McConville on the island of Ireland more than 40 years ago. He is continuing to have that conversation with the PSNI in Northern Ireland today.

Mr. Adams has always maintained he had nothing to do with the sad ordeal of Jean McConville. On many occasions, he has acknowledged the grave injustice inflicted upon Jean McConville and her family by the IRA, and he has repeatedly appealed to anyone with information about the case to bring it to the attention of the proper authorities. He has also worked with the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains to help bring closure to the families who lost loved ones during the conflict and continue to suffer.

For many years, I have been a consistent advocate of families from both traditions who lost loved ones during the Troubles. From the Bloody Sunday Campaign to the family of Raymond McCord, I have supported their efforts on both sides of the Atlantic to find truth and justice. The British government, in particular, is keenly aware of my interest in these matters. I have also condemned the killing of Jean McConville in the strongest possible terms. What happened to her was tragic, and her family also deserves to know the truth.

Much has been accomplished in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, but I happen to strongly agree with former President Bill Clinton who recently urged the political leaders in the region to "finish the job." And that includes dealing with outstanding issues like flags, parades and the past."

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