Belfast Telegraph

SF chief demands truth over past... but expects us to forgive and forget

By Seamus McKendry

Jean McConville has had her status raised now to being a 'thing'. She, like commandeering vehicles or the plunder of properties, is just one of those things that "happens in war".

Through his never surprising lack of humanity, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has reduced the widowed mother-of-10 to a 'thing'.

I have tirelessly investigated the circumstances of my mother-in-law's disappearance since I first met my wife Helen McConville, now McKendry.

When we met, Helen was a beautiful yet traumatised young girl who was desperately trying to make sense of her shattered life. Her love and devotion to her almost certainly-murdered mother would have drawn tears from a stone.

To the IRA, Jean McConville was a 'thing' - until we embarrassed them into finally admitting that they had indeed murdered Jean, and to hide their shame, left her delicate, bloodstained body to rot for three decades on a shoreline.

Gerry Adams is a man who is almost daily at the vanguard of campaigns for 'the truth' about issues such as the Ballymurphy massacre and Bloody Sunday (incidents that every right thinking person wants clarity on). Then why is he not telling these victims' families to get over it, like he is to our family, as these things "happen in war"? Furthermore, does he realise that the disappearance of people is a war crime? Does he understand that as the figurehead of the republican movement he will be asked to provide answers? Masquerading as the leader of a socialist party will be no defence.

I'd say to Irish voters: please don't vote for a party like Sinn Fein, with Gerry Adams as leader. I'd say to Gerry Adams, don't bother with some sort of half-hearted apology for your callous vocabulary. Remember when you're called upon to explain your part in the war, that "these things happen".

  • Seamus McKendry is the husband of Jean McConville's daughter Helen

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