07/07/2006

'No evidence' murdered woman was 'agent'

The Police Ombudsman has confirmed today that there is no evidence to support the claim that the murdered mother of ten Jean McConville was a British informer.

Mrs McConville, 37, was abducted by the IRA in December 1972 from her West Belfast home.

She was one of those known as 'The Disappeared' until what later proved to be her remains were discovered buried at Shelling Hill beach, County Louth in August 2003.

Her family had fought a long campaign to have the IRA reveal the whereabouts of the secretly buried remains.

The investigation by the Police Ombudsman revealed no evidence that Mrs McConville had been a British informer.

The daughter of the murdered woman said that the Police Ombudsman had confirmed what she said the family always knew, that their mother was an innocent party.

Mrs McConville, a widow, had gone to the aid of a fatally wounded British soldier outside her home in Divis Flats. She was subsequently abducted by the IRA and Irish police confirmed that she had been executed by a single gunshot to the head.

The Ombudsman's office was called in to examine the case after the family complained about the police investigation.

Further details of the case and the Ombudsman's investigation are expected to be made public at a later date.

Four of those 'Disappeared' by the IRA have been recovered, but five others have yet to be found.

The IRA had released a statement giving information on the location of nine bodies, which the Republican paramilitary organisation had murdered.

(SP)

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