Son of IRA murder victim Jean McConville dies aged 59

Thomas Tucker’s mother was abducted, murdered and ‘disappeared’ by the IRA in 1972

Tributes have been paid to a son of IRA murder victim Jean McConville after his death at the age of 59.

Thomas “Tucker” McConville died in hospital in Belfast this week after a short illness, the Wave Trauma Centre announced.

His mother Jean was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1972.

The killing of the widowed mother of ten from Belfast is remembered as one of the most notorious crimes of the Troubles.


Her remains were found on a beach in the Republic of Ireland in 2003.

Mr McConville is the fourth of her children to die.

Dr Sandra Peake, chief of the Wave Trauma Centre, described his death as “yet another tragic blow to the McConville family”.

She said he enjoyed nothing more than working in the garden at Wave’s centre in Belfast.

“It was Tucker who chose the hawthorn tree to mark what would have been his mum’s 80th birthday and he tended it while he was able,” she said.

“He also enjoyed helping look after the flowers and plants at the home of our late chair, Prof Jean Orr, and they both enjoyed a long chat over numerous cups of tea.

“While working in the garden and doing the fundraising marathon walks with Wave were good times for Tucker, like others in the family – what happened to his mother irreparably damaged his life.

“His brother Michael often says that when the IRA murdered their mother they may as well have murdered them too, such was the devastating impact of the horror of her murder and being Disappeared.

“It destroyed their childhood and has blighted the rest of their lives.”

Anne Morgan, whose brother Seamus Ruddy was abducted and murdered by the INLA in France in 1985, and whose remains were recovered in 2017, also paid tribute to Mr McConville.

“Tucker was a gentle soul,” she said. “He always had time for everyone.

“I walked with him on the Belfast half marathon. He was someone who wanted to help people and lessen their load. He will be sorely missed.”

A funeral service for Mr McConville will be held on Tuesday in St John’s Parish, on the Falls Road in Belfast. – PA