• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

'No dark forces behind arrest of Sinn Fein president Adams'

Northern Ireland's justice minister has said he can see no sign of "dark forces" operating within the police service.

Stormont justice minister David Ford was speaking after Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness criticised some elements within the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for detaining Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams three weeks before the European Parliament elections.

Tensions in Northern Ireland are running high after Adams's arrest, with McGuinness warning that Sinn Fein may be forced to review its support of the PSNI if the situation is not "resolved in a satisfactory manner".

On Friday night a judge granted the police a 48-hour extension of their time to question Adams in connection with the 1972 murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville, one of Ulster's "Disappeared".

Ford told the BBC's Today programme: "It is normal practice if somebody is likely to be arrested in the course of an inquiry that they are arrested at the start of discussions."

He added: "I don't know whether Gerry Adams thought he was going to turn up at Antrim's serious crime suite, have a wee chat for half an hour and then go off again, but clearly on the scale of the concerns expressed, of the information - which I entirely accept is not yet evidence - it was entirely appropriate that should be followed up in the normal way."

Ford said: "If there are dark forces within policing, I can see no sign of dark forces. I see a police force with very high levels of confidence, higher than the Garda Siochana [Republic of Ireland police] or many forces in Great Britain. And I see a police force carrying out its duties properly and appropriately, following up evidential opportunities where they present themselves."

Contextual targeting label: 
Block list

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

231058