PSNI still probing Jean McConville murder
By Fionnan Sheahan
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
The PSNI says it is continuing to investigate the IRA murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville — a killing that continues to cast a shadow over Gerry Adams.
The Sinn Fein president is poised to face the embarrassment of a special Dail debate on the so-called Disappeared, people murdered by the IRA and whose bodies were then hidden.
Former IRA members have implicated Mr Adams in Ms McConville’s murder.
Fine Gael TD Patrick O’Donovan has asked for time in the Dail to discuss the Disappeared.
“To date, nine bodies of the 16 ‘disappeared’ during the Troubles have been located. That means seven families remain in a terrible state of limbo, unable to get closure and fully mourn the death of their loved ones,” he said.
“By allowing for statements to be made on this matter in the Dail, the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter TD, could update the House and the public on the progress made to date. It would also heighten public awareness on the issue, and might encourage anyone with any information to come forward,” he added.
Convicted IRA bomber Dolours Price has accused Mr Adams of involvement in the murder of Ms McConville from Belfast.
“Detectives are continuing to follow a number of lines of enquiry in relation to the murder of Jean McConville,” a PNSI spokesman said.
Mr Adams has repeatedly denied being a member of the IRA or any knowledge of the murder of Ms McConville.
O’Donovan calls for Dáil to discuss the Disappeared
Fine Gael Limerick TD, Patrick O’Donovan, has written to the Government Chief Whip, Paul Kehoe TD, requesting that time be allocated in the Dáil to discuss the Disappeared. Deputy O’Donovan also intends to raise the issue at the next meeting of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, of which he is a member.
“I have asked the Chief Whip to consider allowing for statements to be made in the Dáil on the Disappeared and the plight facing their families. To date, nine bodies of the sixteen people ‘disappeared’ during the troubles have been located. That means seven families remain in a terrible state of limbo, unable to get closure and fully mourn the death of their loved ones.
“By allowing for statements to be made on this matter in the Dáil, the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter TD, could update the House and the public on the progress made to date. It would also heighten public awareness on the issue, and might encourage anyone with any information to come forward.
“The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains has been working to locate remains since 1999, and their efforts are on-going. They are doing exceptionally important work on a cross border basis.
“We have reached a very important stage in British Irish relations, and the progress made by people on both sides of the border to improve links between communities should not be underestimated. However, for the families of the seven people who were killed and buried in unmarked graves, and whose remains have still not been found, time has stood still.
“I am hopeful that my request to discuss this issue in the Dáil will be granted and I also intend to raise the issue at the next meeting of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, later this month.”
BRITISH IRISH PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY TO MEET IN GLASGOW 22ND-23RD OCTOBER 2012
The 45th plenary of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly will take place in the Grosvenor Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, from Monday 22nd – Tuesday 23rd October 2012.
This is the first occasion that the Assembly has met in Glasgow, and the only the second time that a plenary has been held in Scotland following a meeting in Edinburgh (as the British Irish Interparliamentary Body) in 2005.
The theme of the plenary will be “The Scottish Economy and Irish/Scottish Relations.”
A full agenda for the plenary including guest speakers will be available in due course.
Media outlets are welcome to attend or send a representative to the plenary. Those attending are requested to contact Ronan Farren, Q4 Public Relations for further information, accreditation and to make the necessary arrangements.