Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Jean McConville family hails ruling by US court that IRA tapes must be given to PSNI

Jean McConville's funeral

The family of Jean McConville has welcomed a US Appeal Court ruling that an interview with a former IRA bomber should be handed to the PSNI.

Dolours Price allegedly discusses Mrs McConville's death during an interview, which was one of a series of interviews recorded as part of the Boston College Belfast Project.

Jean McConville, a mother-of-10 from Belfast, was murdered and secretly buried by the IRA 40 years ago.

The Boston College Belfast Project — which began in 2001 and lasted five years — entailed a series of interviews which were conducted by former IRA member turned academic Anthony McIntyre and journalist Ed Moloney. They have argued against any disclosure of the material.

Price, and other interviewees from republican and loyalist sides of the conflict who participated, spoke on the strict understanding that the interviews would be kept secret until after their deaths.

However, a US Appeal Court has now ruled a tape transcript should be handed to police.

Detectives with the PSNI investigating the murder of Mrs McConville’s, one of the so-called Disappeared, requested the transcript.

The Disappeared were people abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans.

Mrs McConville was taken from her Divis Street home in Belfast in 1972 and shot and buried on the Co Louth coast.

Her body was found at Shelling Hill beach in 2003.

Helen McKendry, Mrs McConville’s daughter, said: “Since her (Jean McConville’s) body has been returned, every day is a struggle because we don’t know the real truth.

“We only know what the IRA have put out about my mother and the woman that they are talking about is not the woman we knew. I want to clear my mother’s name and I want to see them brought to justice for what they did.”

Michael McConville, Jean's son, welcomed the court ruling. He said: “I am not really worried about prosecution but the people that murdered my mother, I would like them to be named and shamed.

“We get to know who the people were who murdered my mother. If something happens to them, that will be good enough for our family.”

The material is expected to be handed over next month.

But Mr McIntyre and Mr Moloney plan to challenge the ruling and have the case re-heard.

Mr McIntyre's solicitor Kevin Winters said legal action was also being taken in Northern Ireland — on the basis that his client’s human rights may be breached if Boston College hands the material to the police.

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