Jean McConville’s daughter ‘shattered’ but will take civil action against Gerry Adams

Jean McConville’s daughter ‘shattered’ but will take civil action against Gerry Adams
by Philip Bradfield
News Letter
10 May 2014

A woman whose mother was “disappeared” by the IRA in 1972 says he was “shattered” after Gerry Adams was released from police questioning on the matter without charge on Sunday, but that she will press on with a civil action against him.

Helen McKendry is a daughter of mother-of-ten Jean McConville, who was abducted by the IRA from Divis Flats in west Belfast in 1972, shot in the head and buried on a Co Louth beach. Her remains were only found by accident 31 years later.

Helen told the News Letter yesterday she felt “shattered” after Sinn Fein President was released without charge by police last weekend.

“It did hit me to know he was released but I did not really expect anything else,” she said.

“We will wait and see what happens next.”

Police passed a file to the Public Prosecution Service who will decide whether or not to prosecute.

“But of course we will be taking a civil action against him because it does not look like a criminal trial will be possible.

“I just want to prove to the world that Gerry Adams was involved in my mother’s murder.”

Mr Adams vehemently rejects allegations he was involved in any way in the abduction, murder or burial of Jean McConville.

The day her mother, a widow, was taken Helen was 15 years old.

She had gone to the shops and when she came back her brothers and sisters were hysterical and her mother was gone.

Her father had died just 11 months earlier from cancer.

Helen now lives near Killyleagh in Co Down.

“People have been coming up to me while I am out shopping to let me know their feelings about how wrong it all was,” she said.

Sinn Fein held a rally in west Belfast last weekend in support of Gerry Adams, only a stone’s throw from where their family flat was.

But Helen says it was very small by west Belfast standards.

Helen claims she has the names of the people who took part in her mother’s abduction – but because she was not an actual witness, her word cannot be used as evidence in court.

“Sinn Fein dismiss me now. They refuse to meet with me. But nobody can tell me to shut up about my mother.

“I will keep talking until the day I die,” she said.