‘PSNI must launch probe into Adams’

‘PSNI must launch probe into Adams’
News Letter
Published on Tuesday 30 March 2010 12:32

POLICE must investigate a dead man’s claim that Gerry Adams authorised the abduction of Jean McConville, says a former leading PSNI detective.

Retired Detective Chief Superintendent Norman Baxter, who led the investigation into the Omagh bomb, called on Chief Constable Matt Baggott to appoint a senior detective to review the RUC investigation into the west Belfast mother-of-ten’s murder in 1972.

Mr Baxter says that Adams’ former friend Brendan Hughes’ allegations may provide evidence which police could use to build a case for a criminal case.

Mrs McConville’s daughter is preparing to sue Mr Adams through the civil courts.

Mr Baxter, who was head of the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch until late 2008, said that the PSNI should “urgently” investigate the murder.

THE unfolding story of the life and death of Jean McConville is spine-chilling for anyone with a sense of humanity.

She was a Protestant from east Belfast who married a Roman Catholic in an era when such a union led to isolation and abandonment within her own community.

This was evidenced by the sectarian attack on her home which saw the McConville family relocate to the Divis Flats. Having experienced this turmoil she was widowed in 1971, aged 37, with 10 children.

How much more suffering could this beleaguered family be expected to endure?

We now know the answer.

If we are to believe the confession of the self-proclaimed Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes, somewhere a group of self-appointed rulers of darkness decided to abduct, execute and hide the earthly remains of Jean McConville.

Hughes names Gerry Adams as directing the execution of this defenceless widow. An easy decision for these “heroes” of Irish republicanism.

But they had a problem: not one of conscience but rather that the population could not be trusted to accept their judgment that a family of 10 children should be left orphaned.

So frightened that this evil murder would expose their hypocrisy as “defenders of the people”, they took Jean McConville and buried her.

Ten children were left under the care of the oldest teenage sister for five weeks before the family was split up and scattered by social services. No one to help them in their hour of need. No one told them where their mother was – if she was dead or where she was buried.

Abandoned by the community in which they had sought refuge. Complete and total inhumanity by the IRA.

Robbed of a mother with their childhood stolen, the McConville family suffered collective and physiological abuse.

Their human rights were violated at every level by IRA leaders, who like wolves in sheep’s clothing sought to convince people that they were opposing repression.

The abduction and death of Jean McConville is an indictment on the Irish republican cause and its leadership. Faceless men now exposed as tribal gods, who could abuse women and children and terminate human life at a whim.

In the months leading up to Jean McConville’s murder at least 14 women were abducted from their homes, beaten and humiliated by having their heads shaved and being “tarred and feathered”. The rapes and child sexual abuse should not be forgotten in this mix of social intimidation.

Sinn Fein and the IRA have a record of human rights abuse that would equal some Nazi units in the Second World War; and yet they currently wear the duplicitous clothes of human rights defenders with such ease.

What is even more sickening is that Gerry Adams had the audacity to parade himself on Channel 4 to reflect on Christianity.

What Christian mercy was shown to this widow or her children?

Where was God’s mercy on that dark December night in 1972 when the words of death slipped easily from the lips from a demon of death?

I wonder does the face of Jean McConville linger?

And yet we should not seek to place all the burden of guilt on one leader.

Sinn Fein and the IRA as an organisation will not acknowledge that Jean McConville was murdered. Even in death she is denied the recognition that her life was unlawfully taken.

Mitchell McLaughlin, when Sinn Fein party chairman, pronounced in 2005 that the death of Jean McConville was not a criminal act.

At this stage, when policing and justice is about to be devolved, the people of Northern Ireland should now be told is this still the Sinn Fein position?

Do they recognise the criminality of IRA actions?

Gerry Adams and the Sinn Fein leadership should answer the following question: Do they believe that the abduction and execution of a defenceless widow with 10 children is murder?

The Sinn Fein leadership should be asked to explain: What was the charge that justified her death?

Where was the trial? Who was the judge?

The IRA should not be allowed to hide behind weasel words and vague accusations that Jean McConville was working as an informer with the British Army.

They should be reminded that in 2006, Baroness O’Loan confirmed that “there was no evidence that Jean McConville gave information to the police, military or the security service”.

It seemed that even Hughes was lied to to justify the execution of Jean McConville.

Although Brendan Hughes is now dead, his confession, which was recorded, may provide evidence which could lead the police to build a case for criminal proceedings.

The Chief Constable should now appoint a senior detective to review the investigation into the murder of Jean McConville. Such an investigation should be conducted as a matter of urgency.

The McConville family, like so many other victims, deserve justice.

Helen McKendry should not be left in isolation to seek justice for her mother through civil proceedings.

Civic society and democratic politicians should come together in a campaign to financially and morally support the McConville family.

Jean McConville may have been a poor defenceless widow, abducted, tormented and done to death; but she was a human being and a living soul.

The light of truth will expose the guilty – it should be explored and not extinguished.

Lies cannot hide the truth.

Norman Baxter is a retired PSNI detective chief superintendent

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