Call for independent team to probe McConville case

 Michael McConville: Fight for justice will continue.
Michael McConville: Fight for justice will continue.

The son of murdered Belfast woman Jean McConville has called for an independent investigation by a team from outside the North so that no political pressure is applied.

Michael McConville has described, as an 11-year-old boy, watching his mother being dragged in fear from her home in Divis flats in west Belfast by neighbours whom he recognised.

However, he said he was too afraid to give their names in case he or his family were shot.

He said last night: “We would like to see all the investigations taken out of Northern Ireland, we would like an independent body to do this so there is no political pressure on the police.”

Mr McConville also vowed that his family’s fight for justice would go on and said recent days had been difficult and stressful.

“The McConville family is going to stay to the bitter end of this ’til we get justice for our mother,” he said. “We know it is going to be a long road but we have already been fighting for justice for 40 years and we are not going to stop now.”

He expressed confidence in the PSNI, saying: “We know in the last while back that there’s been political people pushing for people to be let go and we think there has been interference in different cases and we don’t want any interference in this case by any political party.”

Mr McConville was left orphaned by the murder, with him and the rest of his siblings put in different homes. He said last week that he never believed Gerry Adams would be arrested but added last night he did not know what information police had about him.

Following the arrest of the republican leader on Wednesday, Mr McConville said he was glad detectives were taking the 1972 case seriously.

He said last night: “There is not a day goes past that we don’t think about our mother and this week has been particularly painful for us all.

“We all want justice for our mother and the legal process will continue as I understand that papers are being sent to the Public Prosecution Service following the questioning of Mr Adams. We are also glad that there has been a worldwide focus on our mother’s cruel and inhuman treatment by the IRA.

“It has also highlighted the desperate plight of other families of the Disappeared, seven of whom have yet to have the remains of their loved ones returned to them. No one should be forced to continue to suffer in this way.”

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