In one sense the arrest of Gerry Adams for questioning in relation to the murder of Jean McConville is not a surprise. On the other hand it is astonishing.

I cannot think how many times over the years the connection between Adams and the McConville case – appalling even by the standards trawled during the Troubles – has been raised. Yet, as the years have gone on, the possibility that Adams would ever actually answer questions on the murder seemed ever more remote.

Adams has always denied any involvement in this crime, and has offered the police his assistance in their inquiries. Adams presented himself at a police station yesterday and was then arrested.

Tags: Courts, Gerry Adams, IRA, Law and order, Northern Ireland, Police