Sunday 18 November 2018

Jean was not an accidental casualty, someone made a decision to kill her

Gerry Adams's comments about Jean McConville's murder only serve to traumatise her family, writes Mairia Cahill

Illustration by Jim Cogan
Illustration by Jim Cogan

Mairia Cahill

Abducted by four women and four men at gunpoint in front of her 10 children, as some of them clung crying to her legs. Beaten, and driven across the Border to an IRA kangaroo court to meet her fate. Tortured, bones broken, made to kneel on the ground and shot in the head. Thrown into a ready-made grave, and covered over, until the sands of time eventually gave up her remains, 31 years later. "That's what happens in war," according to Gerry Adams speaking on CBS last week.

He couldn't have delivered that line in a more cavalier way if he had tried. Jean McConville was not an accidental casualty of conflict that just "happened".

Someone made the decision to kill her. Someone gave the order to disappear her body. Brendan Hughes, before his death, stated: "That man is now the head of Sinn Fein". Gerry Adams vehemently denies this, and, although arrested and questioned by the PSNI in connection with the investigation into Jean McConville's murder last April, he has not been charged with this crime. He was released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service, which has yet to take a decision on whether charges should be brought.

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