Belfast Telegraph

Jean McConville's daughter urges Gardai to probe claims

BY KIM BIELENBERG

A daughter of murdered Jean McConville believes gardai must step up their investigation into the killing after fresh claims it was ordered by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

Helen McKendry, who was 15 when her mother was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972, said she wants her mother's murder to be treated by governments north and south of the border as a "war crime". She is also planning a civil court case and says she has promises of financial backing from a wealthy businessman in the Republic.

Ms McKendry added: "I will campaign on this until the day I die – until I get to the truth."

Mr Adams, currently in the US, is under fresh pressure after a BBC/RTE documentary The Disappeared broadcast the words of Adams' former IRA comrade, Brendan Hughes.

Mr Hughes, now deceased, says in a taped message: "There's only one man who gave the order for that woman to be executed.

"That man is now the head of Sinn Fein."

Mr Adams has repeatedly denied the claim. He said: "I had no act or part to play in either the abduction, the killing or burial of Jean McConville."

A spokesman for the Garda said: "An investigation in to this matter is ongoing.

"Investigating officers are continuing to liaise closely with the PSNI as part of their enquiries."

Ms McKendry, who now lives in Crossgar, Co Down, said: "If it was any other country it would be investigated like a war crime."

Ms McKendry told how after her mother's abduction by hooded IRA figures in Belfast's Divis flats, she was left to look after her younger siblings for three months, with barely any food and no income.

Mr Adams resolved to help find the body, which was eventually found on a beach in Co Louth in 2003.

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