Jean McConville murder: Son accuses PSNI of turning a blind eye to alleged killer

Michael McConville beside a picture of his mother Jean, who  was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972
Michael McConville beside a picture of his mother Jean, who was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972

The son of a west Belfast woman who was abducted and killed by the IRA has accused the PSNI of “turning a blind eye” when it comes to investigating his mother’s murder.

Michael McConville, whose mother Jean was shot and secretly buried in Co Louth in 1972 after the IRA accused her of being a British informer, claims police have had information about an individual who was allegedly involved in his mother’s murder for the past five years, but have failed to act on it.

The individual, a prominent republican, cannot be named by the News Letter for legal reasons. But Mr McConville says details about their involvement in his mother’s killing were reported to the PSNI in 2013.

The claims are revealed in a new book, ‘Say Nothing’ by American journalist Patrick Radden Keefe, which is due to be published on Thursday.

Commenting on claims that the PSNI has taken no action despite being given the name of the person who allegedly shot his mother in the back of the head, Mr McConville described it as “awful” and “shocking”.

“Every time there is another story about our mother’s murder it twists a knife in a wound that will never heal,” he said. “But to know that the name of the person who may have fired the shot in that depraved murder that ended her life and orphaned 10 children has been known to the PSNI for years and yet nothing has been done makes it even worse.”

Accusing the PSNI of “turning a blind eye”, Mr McConville asked if the person named to them as his mother’s killer has been questioned by police, and if not why not.

“Who is protecting these people and why are they being protected? Will anyone involved in murdering our mother ever be held to account?

“Our family deserves answers and I want to meet the chief constable face to face to get them,” he added.

The News Letter asked the PSNI if it has been aware of the name of Mrs McConville’s alleged killer since 2013, and if the individual has been questioned about the killing.

While not answering those questions directly, Assistant Chief Constable George Clarke insisted that the case has been “investigated thoroughly”.

“I fully appreciate the suffering still being experienced by the family of Jean McConville. I would like to assure them that the PSNI have investigated this case thoroughly and professionally,” he said.

“One man has been charged in connection with the murder of Jean McConville. As this case is currently progressing through the courts it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

ACC Clarke continued: “We will always go where the evidence leads us and if any new evidence comes to light we will fully investigate it.

“The PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service continue to liaise with the McConville family in respect of the ongoing prosecution case.”