Belfast Telegraph

Jean McConville's son calls for answers after claim PSNI knew identity of 'third IRA killer'

Jean McConville with three of her children
Jean McConville with three of her children
Shocked: Michael McConville
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

The son of a Belfast mother-of-10 abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972 has called for a face-to-face meeting with PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton following new claims about her killing.

A book to be published on Thursday alleges that a prominent republican could have been the mystery third member of an IRA team who fired the shot that killed Jean McConville, one of the most high-profile victims of the Troubles.

Say Nothing, by American journalist Patrick Keefe, claims information that this person was involved in the murder of Mrs McConville came in an interview Dolours Price gave to journalist Ed Moloney in 2010 and which police have had since 2013.

The PSNI could not be contacted for comment last night.

However, Michael McConville said any suggestion of police knowledge was “awful and shocking”.

Price claimed in the documentary film I, Dolours, released earlier this year, that an unnamed person had fired the shot to end the life of Mrs McConville.

The widow was abducted from her Divis Flats home by the IRA in 1972, one of the Disappeared  until her body was found on Shelling Hill beach, Co Louth, in 2003.

The book by Keefe, a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine, alleges that Mrs McConville was murdered by a three-person team, one of whom “had been offered a job as Gerry Adams’s personal driver”.

The Sunday Times reported that Keefe has discovered that in an interview Price gave to the Boston College oral history project, she named the person who had been offered this role.

The Belfast Telegraph is not naming the individual for legal reasons.

Keefe says he also interviewed another individual in whom Price confided before she died in 2013.

“I asked whether she had ever mentioned (this person) playing a role in the McConville killing,” he writes. “The person confirmed she had...”

Keefe said he wrote to a lawyer for the person spelling out what he intended to publish and asking whether they would deny it. He never wrote back.

The same lawyer was also approached by the Sunday Times and a comment requested about Keefe’s allegation. Again there was no response.

Mr McConville said: “Every time there is another story about our mother’s murder, it twists a knife in a wound that will never heal.

“But to know that the name of the person who may have fired the shot in that depraved murder that ended her life and orphaned 10 children has been known to the PSNI for years and yet nothing has been done makes it even worse.”

He added: “My brothers and sisters and I want to know why Dolours Price was not interviewed after her admissions that she drove my mother to her death.

“And if (this person) has been interviewed by the PSNI, why have we not been informed, and if (this person) hasn’t been interviewed from 2013 to the present day, why not?

“Who is protecting these people and why are they being protected?

“Will anyone involved in murdering our mother ever be held to account?

“Our family deserves answers and I want to meet the Chief Constable George Hamilton face to face to get them.”

Price previously admitted being part of the three-person IRA squad involved in the murder of Mrs McConville and her interview with Mr Moloney featured in the I, Dolours film.

She said they left the widow with an IRA unit in Dundalk, but were called back four or five days later to shoot her and has previously identified Pat McClure, who died in America in 1986, as another member of the team.

Belfast Telegraph


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