Friday 19 July 2019

Tests confirm identity of IRA victim McConville

Tom BradySecurity Editor

TESTS carried out on part of the skeleton found on a beach outside Carlingford, Co Louth, last August have confirmed that the shallow grave contained the body of IRA victim Jean McConville.

The west Belfast mother-of-10 was abducted and murdered by the Provisionals in 1972 and her remains were found at Shelling Hill beach - half-a-mile from where the IRA had indicated four years ago that her body would be found.

Last night, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny called on the IRA to renew their level of co-operation with the authorities to ensure that the bodies of the other "disappeared" victims could be located and returned to their families for burial.

He said yesterday's confirmation came at the start of a potentially historic week in Northern Ireland. He appealed to the republican movement to take the final steps required so that the devolved institutions could be restored and Assembly elections held in a context where all of the participants were committed to exclusively peaceful and democratic politics.

The DNA tests were carried out in London after an earlier post-mortem examination at the Louth Co Hospital had concluded that Mrs McConville had been shot once in the back of the head. It ruled out suggestions that she had been mutilated and tortured before being murdered.

A shoe and some garments found in the grave alongside the remains were identified by some of her children as belonging to Mrs McConville.

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