Inquest into McConville death today

The inquest into the death of IRA “disappeared” victim Jean McConville is to be held today more than 31 years after she was abducted.

The inquest into the death of IRA “disappeared” victim Jean McConville is to be held today more than 31 years after she was abducted.

The hearing will go ahead at Dundalk Courthouse after the original sitting was adjourned at the request of Mrs McConville’s family six weeks ago.

Louth County Coroner Ronan Maguire accepted an application from her relatives’ legal team for more time to allow independent experts to examine police files.

They also wanted to obtain more information from gardaí.

Mr Maguire said he had been informed the hearing could now proceed and said he expected it to be completed today.

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 by an IRA gang.

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

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

A post-mortem examination confirmed Mrs McConville, who was 37 at the time of her death in December 1972, died from a gunshot wound to the head.

She was one of a number of so-called Disappeared victims who were murdered by the IRA and secretly buried during the 1970s.

The IRA apologised for the grief caused to the families of the Disappeared last October, saying it was sorry their suffering had continued for so long.

Mrs McConville’s family said the apology meant nothing to them.

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

After the funeral the cortege travelled along the Falls Road past Sinn Féin’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.

More in this section