McConville daughter says she’ll name people responsible for mother’s murder

Helen McKendry says she no longer fears reprisals by republicans

Family members carry flowers and a picture of their mother Jean McConville. Mrs McConville, 37, was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Family members carry flowers and a picture of their mother Jean McConville. Mrs McConville, 37, was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Fri, May 2, 2014, 07:22

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has spent a second night in police custody after his arrest by detectives investigating the notorious IRA murder of a Belfast mother-of-10.

Officers are set to resume questioning the 65-year-old politician today about the killing of Jean McConville in 1972.

It comes as her eldest daughter said she is prepared to name the people responsible for her mother’s death.

Forty-two years after her mother was abducted from her flat in west Belfast, Helen McKendry said she no longer feared reprisals by republicans.

“What are they going to do to me? They have done so much to me in the last 42 years,” she told BBC2’s Newsnight.

“Are they going to come and put a bullet in my head? Well they know where I live.”

Mr Adams has always vehemently denied allegations levelled by former republican colleagues that he ordered the murder of Mrs McConville, who was wrongly suspected of being an informer to the British Army.

He was arrested at Antrim police station on Wednesday night after voluntarily presenting himself for interview.

The former West Belfast MP and current representative for Co Louth in the Dáil can initially be held for up to 48 hours without charge — a time period that ends at around 8pm today.

But detectives have the option to apply to a judge today for his detention to be extended for further questioning.

Mrs McConville was dragged screaming from her children in the Divis flats in west Belfast by a gang of up to 12 men and women.

She was interrogated, shot in the back of the head and then secretly buried — so becoming one of the “Disappeared” victims of the Troubles. Her body was not found until 2003 on a beach in Co Louth, 50 miles from her home.

Mrs McKendry’s declared willingness to speak out was in contrast to her brother, Michael McConville, who said earlier that he was still not prepared to name those involved even though he knew who they were, because of the consequences for his family.

He claimed he was too scared to tell detectives who he believed was responsible in case he or other family members were shot by republican extremists for informing.

“Everybody thinks that the IRA has gone away but they have not. If we tell we will be shot,” he said.

Mrs McKendry, who was 15-years-old at the time, said she was convinced that Mr Adams was involved, despite his repeated denials over the years.

“I have always believed that Gerry Adams was involved in the murder of my mother. Till the day I die, I will believe that,” she said.