Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Women held over McConville murder

Two women have been arrested by police investigating the murder of Jean McConville.
Two women have been arrested by police investigating the murder of Jean McConville.

Detectives investigating the IRA murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville more than 40 years ago have made two more arrests.

Two women, aged 57 and 60, were detained by officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Serious Crime Branch this morning and have been taken to Antrim police station for questioning.

The abduction, murder and secret burial of Mrs McConville in 1972 is one of the most notorious incidents of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

Nobody has ever been charged with her murder.

After decades without significant developments in the criminal investigation, there have now been six arrests within a month.

In March veteran republican - 77-year-old Ivor Bell - was charged in connection with the killing. Bell, from Ramoan Gardens in west Belfast, faces counts of aiding and abetting the murder and of IRA membership. His lawyer has said he will contest the charges.

Two other 57-year-old women and a 56-year-old man, arrested separately in west Belfast this month, were released from custody after questioning.

Police are preparing reports on both those women for assessment by prosecutors.

Mrs McConville, a widow, was dragged away from her children in her home in the Divis flats, west Belfast, by an IRA gang of up to 12 men and women after being accused of passing information to the British Army in the city.

An investigation later carried out by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman rejected the claims that she was an informer.

She was shot in the back of the head and buried 50 miles from her home. The IRA did not admit her murder until 1999 when information was passed to police in the Irish Republic.

She became one of the so-called Disappeared, and it was not until August 2003 that her remains were found on Shelling Hill beach, Co Louth.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz