Thursday 18 December 2014

Woman (57) released after being held in connection with Jean McConville's murder

Published 10/04/2014 | 10:50

Jean McConville and two of her children before she disappeared

A 57-year-old woman has been released after being held in connection with the murder of Jean McConville.

She was arrested in west Belfast this morning and has been taken to Antrim police station for questioning.

She was this evening released without charge and a file is being prepared for the PPS.

Today's developments came after a veteran republican - 77-year-old Ivor Bell - was charged last month in connection with the killing.

Bell, from Ramoan Gardens in west Belfast, faces counts of aiding and abetting the murder and of IRA membership.

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

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

An investigation later carried out by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman rejected the allegations.

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 on 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 eventually found on Shelling Hill beach, Co Louth.

Nobody has ever been charged with her murder.

A 56-year-old man was also arrested and released earlier this month in connection with the killing.

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