Thursday 25 December 2014

Man (56) arrested in connection with Jean McConville murder

Published 02/04/2014 | 11:32

Jean McConville and two of her children before she disappeared

Detectives investigating the IRA murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville more than 40 years ago have arrested a 56-year-old man.

The suspect was detained in west Belfast and has been taken to Antrim police station for questioning, a spokesman from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said.

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

Today's arrest comes 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.

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.

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