McConville death inquest to be delayed

The inquest into the death of IRA disappeared victim Jean McConville is to be delayed at the request of her family, it emerged tonight.

The inquest into the death of IRA disappeared victim Jean McConville is to be delayed at the request of her family, it emerged tonight.

Louth County Coroner Ronan Maguire confirmed he will adjourn tomorrow’s proceedings after a brief hearing to accept an application from the legal representatives of her relatives.

Mr Maguire said the solicitors had informed him they wanted more time to allow independent experts to examine police files and to get more information from gardaí.

“I have been informed by representatives of eight of Mrs McConville’s children that they would like the inquest to be adjourned, and in the circumstances the family’s wishes must be paramount,” he said.

“I felt it was only right to allow the family more time to consult independent experts and to allow the gardai to provide them with further information.”

Mr Maguire said he had also contacted Mrs McConville’s daughter, Helen McKendry, and she was not now planning to attend the hearing in Dundalk Courthouse.

Mrs McConville’s body was discovered in a shallow grave on Shelling Hill beach in Co Louth last August, 31 years after she was abducted from her west Belfast home by an IRA gang.

The mother-of-10 was taken from her home in Divis Flats after she went to the aid of a critically wounded British soldier.

The IRA admitted responsibility for her murder, claiming she had been an informer – an allegation her family vigorously denied.

A post-mortem examination confirmed Mrs McConville, who was 37-years-old at the time of her death, had died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Bishop Patrick Walsh told mourners at her funeral in November that Mrs McConville’s murder had “touched the depths of depravity“.

Monseignor Thomas Toner said her death not only devastated the lives of her children but it dehumanised her murderers and stripped them of all dignity and respect.

A family feud had threatened to overshadow the funeral when Helen McKendry said she would not attend, however she and her family did go to the church.

After the funeral the cortege travelled down the Falls Road past Sinn Fein‘s headquarters where it stopped near the spot where the IRA killers led her to her death.

A minute‘s silence was held outside Divis Tower, the last remaining block of the flats complex where she lived.

Her remains were then laid to rest in Lisburn, Co Antrim, alongside her husband Arthur, who had died a few months before her murder.

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