We’ve been through hell for 30 years to get justice for Mum

We’ve been through hell for 30 years to get justice for Mum
Family to protest outside hearing
Jilly Beattie
Daily Mirror

We believe know who murdered our mother and who sanctioned it – James McConville

Jean McConville is the ghost of Ireland, haunting the people who murdered her, the person who sanctioned her execution and the authorities who allowed them to escape justice.

Now after 40 years struggling through grief and chaos in their personal lives, her children have finally found a unified voice.

And today they plan to gather outside a Belfast courthouse to challenge the people who want to keep details of Jean’s execution a secret.

Twins James and William, 45, were joined yesterday by Thomas, 48, to explain why eight of the siblings are taking action to push the people involved with their mother’s death to come clean.

James said: “We’re not letting go of this. We believe we know who murdered our mother and who sanctioned her execution and we think we know why. We’ve spent the last 30 years hoping for justice for our mother, working amongst ourselves and trying to find a way to get the truth out.

“We’ve been to hell and back in our personal lives and we’re still struggling today because of what happened to our mother.”

However, now the McConvilles have a chance to have the truth revealed as the battle continues over the release of the Boston tapes.

A US appeal court ruled in July that interviews given by former IRA bomber Dolours Price to the Boston College Belfast project should be handed over to the PSNI.

But former IRA man Anthony McIntyre and journalist Ed Moloney, who carried out the interviews, are adamant it could harm the peace process and have urged that the details remain secret during their lifetime.

However, the material which is wanted by police as part of an ongoing, Disappeared inquiry is expected to be handed over and the McConvilles are desperate to see the contents.

Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price, who claims she drove Jean to her final destination and execution in 1972, participated in recorded interviews for the Boston project.

She has to date not been questioned over her claims.

James said: “Dolours Price should be arrested and questioned over her claims that she participated in the kidnap of my mother.”

He added while the spectre of Jean is still haunting the people who wronged her, he struggles to cope with the nightmare he has about the night his mother was bundled out of Divis flat.

James said: “I was just six years old at the time and I’ve suffered nightmares about what I saw since then. I’ve had this dream nearly my entire life but now I want it to end.

“But what gets me through is the goodness of my mother because I also remember watching her crawling out the front door to help a soldier lying outside our house. I recall hearing some of us screaming for her not to do it.

“Mum was murdered for her actions and today I believe she deserves recognition for her humanity and the price she paid, the price we all paid.”

James and family have written to Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to recognise Jean’s bravery as a non-combatant during the Troubles.

They are awaiting a reply.


November 1972 Jean comforts a British solider injured in sniper fire outside her home.

November 29, 1972 Jean is kidnapped from near her home and tortured. She is taken into an army barracks and returned to her children.

December 1972 Jean is kidnapped and drive to a house where she is questioned, tortured and later executed.

February 2010 The PSNI requests the US Justice Department to turn over recordings made between 2001 and 2005. The legal proceedings are ongoing.