Jean McConville’s sons rubbish informer claims in new documentary

Thomas (left) and James McConville outside Movie House, Dublin Road ahead of the screening of I, Dolours
Thomas (left) and James McConville outside Movie House, Dublin Road ahead of the screening of I, Dolours

Two of Jean McConville’s sons have rubbished claims made about their mother in a new documentary which tells the story of former IRA terrorist Dolours Price.

The documentary film I, Dolours, which will be shown as part of the Belfast Film Festival next month, features a video-recorded interview that Price gave to journalist Ed Moloney in 2010 – three years before her death.

In the film, Price talks about her role in the 1972 abduction and murder of 38-year-old Mrs McConville, who was shot and secretly buried at a beach in Co Louth.

She claims the west Belfast mother-of-10 was an informer who was ‘disappeared’ after the IRA discovered a radio transmitter that she had been using to pass information to the British forces.

Two of Mrs McConville’s sons, James and Thomas, who saw the documentary at a private screening several weeks ago, stood outside the press launch of the film in Belfast this evening to deny the claims their mother was an informer and to stress that they will keep fighting to find out the truth about what happened to her.

James, 51, wore a t-shirt with his mother’s picture on it and the words ‘COVER UP’ across the chest.

“She (Price) says my mother had a transmitter, but two of our family members, Helen and Michael, have met the IRA – secret meetings arranged through Sinn Fein – and not once did they make any mention of a transmitter.

“She says three of them went to the beach to execute our mother and each of them fired a shot so no one would know who did it, but that doesn’t make any sense. There was only one bullet wound, so to me if the last one did it then that would be torture.”

James and Thomas are divided on whether or not the film should go on public release.

“I think people should see it because it makes a mockery of what the IRA told us,” James said. “Everyone is lying. We have been investigating this for 12 years. We have documents from all kinds of people and it all points to a cover up.”

Disagreeing, Thomas, 54, said: “What they are actually doing is make us live it all over again. We’ve had enough, 45 years of it, and this is just going to keep it dragging on. Showing this is just going to make life harder, not just for the McConville family, but for the families of the other ‘disappeared’ as well.”