Report on Jean McConville murder to be disclosed after Bell case

Family of Belfast woman, one of the Disappeared, want PSNI to be made publish review

Jean McConville pictured with three of her children shortly before she disappeared in 1972.

Jean McConville pictured with three of her children shortly before she disappeared in 1972.

 

A police report into the IRA murder of Jean McConville will be disclosed once criminal proceedings are completed, the High Court in Belfast has heard.

Six of Ms McConville’s children are taking a legal action to gain access to the findings of an Historical Enquiries Team (HET) inquiry into her abduction and killing by the IRA 45 years ago.

However, a hearing due to get underway later this month has now been put on hold until the prosecution of a veteran republican facing charges linked to her death is resolved.

Ivor Bell (80), of Ramoan Gardens in Belfast, denies two counts of soliciting the murder of the mother-of-10. His lawyers contend that he is unfit to stand trial due to a diagnosis of dementia, and that it would be oppressive to continue with the prosecution.

Amid uncertainty around those criminal proceedings, concerns were raised about the potential prejudicial impact of the McConville family’s ongoing legal challenge.

Their mother was seized by the IRA from her Divis Flats home in west Belfast in December 1972 after wrongly being accused of acting as an informer. Following her abduction she was shot dead and then secretly buried.

She became know as one of the so-called Disappeared, with her body only discovered on a Co Louth beach in 2003.

Thee years later the Police Ombudsman concluded that a proper investigation into the murder was not carried out for more than two decades.

Ms McConville’s children are seeking a judicial review aimed at forcing the PSNI to publish the contents of the report by the now defunct HET.